The act of greenwashing not only effects the environment, but it also hurts businesses in the long run. Once exposed in the act, greenwashing companies' sales will plummet and the image of the brand will be tarnished. This will also cause other companies to fear promoting eco-friendly and sustainable practices as they want to avoid being accused of the same thing later down the line.
It's never fun being lied to, and as a consumer, there are ways to go about avoiding it. Before investing in a brand, ask yourself the following questions:
• Does their website include a lot of vague information and hard-to-believe claims on sustainability?
• Do they contribute to the ill use of words? Do they have any quantifiable goals? Do they have any credentials or proof of their claims?
• Do they overuse pro-green and peaceful imagery to have products appear more natural than they are?
• Are the Google searches of the brand more positive or negative?
• What's your overall gut reaction? Can you really trust the brand?
It's very important that you know what you're contributing to, so do some research. Find out about the materials the company often include in the production of their products. Sometimes natural materials such as viscose and rayon are promoted; however, natural materials are not always the most sustainable option. Discover how brands source their materials and ask any questions you may have about the making process. You may save yourself a lot of time and investment in the long run.