Greenwashing: Deceiving Consumers
Greenwashing: Deceiving Consumers
  • Kim Yun-ah
  • 승인 2023.09.05 18:06
  • 댓글 0
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  Amid worsening global warming, people increasingly pay attention to pressing environmental concerns. Companies are intensifying their efforts to protect the environment by implementing ESG management. Some companies market that they strive to protect the environment while producing and distributing products. However, some products claiming to be committed to the environment are unrelated to environmental protection. This misleading practice is commonly referred to as ‘Greenwashing.’
  Greenwashing is a combination of ‘green’ and ‘whitewashing,’ and it refers to promoting something as if it is eco-friendly when it is not. For instance, the cosmetics company Innisfree showcased their lotion bottles as being crafted from paper, even labeling them with the phrase “bottles made of paper.” However, there was another plastic bottle inside the cosmetic bottle that consumers believed was made of paper. This was a deceptive waste of resources, not genuine environmental protection. 
  Another example of greenwashing is fast fashion brands. To run a fast fashion industry, fashion companies make a lot of clothes cheaper and faster. As a result, the fast fashion industry pollutes the environment by increasing the amount of garbage and significantly increasing carbon emissions through the rapid and diverse management and disposal of these garments. However, some fast fashion brands are touting the ‘sustainability’ of their clothing, using labels like ‘organic,’ ‘green,’ and ‘eco-friendly.’ 
  As more cases like this have emerged, the European Union (EU) began to regulate deceptive greenwashing practices. According to guidelines issued by the EU, if a company wants to label a product or service as green, sustainable, or otherwise environmentally friendly, it must have the scientific basis certified by an independent third party. If companies do not comply, they will be fined up to 4% of their annual sales and be excluded from government purchase bids and public financing for a certain period.
  The art of greenwashing is essentially an act of deception and mockery directed towards consumers. The practice of deceiving consumers by claiming that a product is eco-friendly when it is not should be eradicated. Additionally, consumers also need to be objective and not be swayed by advertising phrases when purchasing products.


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