What is greenwashing?

#greenwashing then and now:

Environmentalist Jay Westerveld coined the term "greenwashing" in 1986 to describe how petroleum companies like Chevron used media to erroneously present “themselves as caring environmental stewards, even as they were engaging in environmentally unsustainable practices” like pillaging the rain forest. It is now 2022 and the practice is stronger than ever, see the most laughable greenwashing media blitz of late: Kourtney Kardashian as "sustainability ambassador" for ultra fast fashion...

File this under #greenwashing on acid: the pairing of Kourtney Kardashian, who recently re branded herself as a wellness lifestyle guru with her online retail market place for all things posh and "green" Poosh (note the clever Goop-like use of double oo's), and UK-based fast fashion retailer Boohoo. This is the apex of reality distortion: a private jet-strutting tabloid star (net worth 85 billion in 2022) is hailed as a #sustainability "ambassador" for a fast fashion company that has underpaid their mostly female garment workers (in Pakistan they forced garment workers to work 24 hour shifts). To me this is everything that is so glaringly wrong with both the current cult of celebrity and the deceptive claims of sustainability by an over-producing and over-polluting industry. This collaboration includes limited-edition pieces using recycled fibers, traceable cotton, recycled sequins and "recycled" polyester. Putting the word #recycled before polyester which is petroleum-based and, as Aja Barber has said, is not a textile but in reality a plastic bottle that cannot be recycled, is yet more greenwashing. As a mother of two teens who are in the demographic targeted by the predatory marketing of these fast fashion companies, I wish their were regulations in place that forbade these lies.

I first heard about Kardashian's new foray into healthy living from my fifteen-year old daughter. On the website, Kourtney explains the "why" behind her new venture: "People are constantly asking me how I do it all, from being a mom to working full-time to still maintaining a social life. I get endless questions about food, kids, beauty, and fashion, so I decided to create Poosh, a curated experience and a destination for modern living." Her 85 million net worth, army of staff, chefs, security team, nannies, stylists and privileged life of private jets offer this solution: just buy more stuff! To pitch more consumption as a way out the under-played yet dire climate crisis that is our reality is deeply problematic. Are people really being duped that buying more stuff via her website and consuming Boohoo's sustainable clothing line is a solution? WTF. I despise writing about the Kardashians when there are so many real issues but we need to raise (like the facet hat Pakistan is one third under water). But more awareness is needed. Let’s demand these brands and their "influencers" be held accountable or at the very least called out for BS. #sustainablityfail #sustainablefashion #marketing #ethicalfashion #sustainabledevelopment #ethicalbusiness #consciousbusiness #consciousleadership


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