These are red flags if the company is talking about sustainability

Sustainability is not fashion — greenwashing red flag

Some brands want to jump on the bandwagon of sustainability so desperately that they think it’s a fashion statement.

Boohoo announced that they are collaborating with celebrity Kourtney Kardashian-Baker on… sustainability.

So let me get this straight: you are collaborating with a person whose sister is the queen of jet fuel and is on the top 10 celebrity CO2e offenders list.

Kardashians on sustainability

I mean, it’s none of my business how people travel or what they do, but I think this is a bit too much.

It’s like listening to nutrition and fitness advice from UK’s previous prime minister Boris Johnson or the American comedian Bert Kreischer.

Meanwhile, Boohoo is trying to portray an image of “we care about sustainability” to increase its profits.

I think they got confused and thought sustainability is fashion.

Most probably, they saw something trending on Twitter and thought to themselves, let’s dive into sustainability, as it looks fashionable.

While they are jumping on the bandwagon of sustainability, they are doing the following things;

• They are adding 3,000 new styles to their website every week.

• Most of their clothing is made from virgin, synthetic fabrics (plastic).

· The company paid staff in Leicester as little as £3.50 just two years ago.

· They forced workers to come in during lockdown without adequate COVID protocol.

• That same year, they reported 44% growth, a market value of 4.6bn and a big bonus for the top dogs. (The CEO is a billionaire.)

• They’ve been investigated for slave labour and tax fraud.

• Pretty Little Thing (owned by Boohoo) sold off garments on Black Friday for as little as £1 — fulling mindless overconsumption.

This is a classic case of greenwashing. I hope it backfires spectacularly.

I believe in capitalism, but I don’t believe in mindless overconsumption and manipulating people to buy more stuff they don’t need just for the sake of shareholders.

If we don’t believe in something — for example, sustainability, equal rights, animal testing or any other topic we shouldn’t be hiring and trying to portray an image for the sake of profits or for the sake to looking cool.

I can’t believe grown-ups had a meeting and decided to collaborate with Kourtney Kardashian for sustainability. It’s beyond me.

If it was the 1980s, they would have gotten away, but in today’s day and age, greenwashing is not going to go well in public.

Sustainability is not fashion, it’s something that you stand up to.

But hiring the wrong celebrity and speaking about a topic that you are part of the problem is just bad marketing, unethical and disgusting.

A great example is L’Estrange — a brand that truly cares about sustainability. You can see in their marketing communication and in their products that they want to be part of the solution.

With Less Do More — L’Estrange Website

Their mission is: With Less Do More.

It’s something that you can see from their products, prices, and at every customer touch point, they prove they believe in that.

If we care about something, we should hire and collaborate with the right people. Can you imagine if Five Guys started working with Earthling Ed (famous vegan activist) on veganism? We wouldn’t believe it for a second.

Let’s go out there and find the right people to work with.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Alexander Novicov

I wake up every day striving to become the best version of myself. I’m a human, an author, ultra runner, skydiver, speaker and CEO at Way Boutique Agency.