Sustainability has been shown to have a major impact on consumers’ purchasing decisions, leading some companies to work - and sometimes overwork - the ‘green angle’ into their marketing efforts. This means it has become increasingly difficult for designers to differentiate between truly sustainable products and materials, and those where the green claims have been exaggerated.
This practice - of making exaggerated or misleading claims about the environmental benefits of a product - is known as 'greenwashing'. At best, greenwashing is used to make a company appear more 'green' or environmentally friendly than they are; at worst, it's a way to distract from other business practices that may actually be damaging the environment.
Today we're looking at two increasingly prevalent examples of greenwashing, to help differentiate between exaggerated claims and truly sustainable design options.