Welcome back to another blog topic, and before we begin, are you aware of greeenhushing? Well, you may not, or even if you are, there are still many things that you are completely unaware of. At first, greenhushing was a practice followed by many brands to hide or refuse to publicize anything about the sustainability of their products. It is the exact opposite of greenwashing. Now, you might question- What the heck is greenwashing?
Don’t worry; we believe there’s nothing greater than the power of sustainable living. And our sole purpose is to make you understand the essence of sustainability. Today, in this blog, you’ll get to know everything about greenhushing and find out how some brands are ruining the environment.
Greenhushing: A Threat To the Environment
Well, in simpler terms, greenhushing is nothing more than hiding data from the world that displays the company’s efforts towards sustainability and eco-consciousness. Over the past several decades, many brands, mostly fast fashion, have completely avoided talking about the environmental impacts out of a lack of concern or fear of being called out. Brands have increased their marketing of "green" items in recent years as consumer's desire to shop more responsibly has grown. In a recent study, it was found that more than 51% of the renounced brands keep no track of the amount of greenhouse gas emissions and still talk about sustainability and eco-friendliness to maintain their value in the world.
But the real question to ask is- Is Greenhushing an eco-friendly practice? A big NO! Greenhushing is a completely unethical and misleading practice that many companies perform to keep their reputations safe.
Greenwashing vs Greenhushing: The Main Difference
Well, greenwashing and greenhushing are two different aspects that revolve around sustainability. While they might sound the same, they are completely opposite. Renounced brands and companies opt for either of the two strategies to show the world their value principles. Although both practices are unethical and a threat to the environment, you might think about how they are distinguished from each other. Read below to find out:
Greenwashing is a marketing strategy where a company falsely exaggerates to be more eco-conscious and driven towards sustainability than it actually is. Non-sustainable brands that claim to be sustainable follow this and perform fake marketing to improve the company’s reputation around sustainability, eco-friendliness, environmental consciousness, etc.
The primary aim of greenwashing is to boost a company's image and profitability by capitalizing on the growing consumer interest in eco-friendly products and practices. However, what many don’t understand is that if their reality becomes known to the world, it won’t take days for the company to perish.
This is the sole reason we practice open sustainability and upcycling. We simply pick denims that are going to waste and give them a completely new life by adding a new soul to them and converting them into useful products.
IKEA is known for its finest furniture and is popular for being the largest wood consumer in the world to create high-quality and sustainable furniture.
According to recent research by Earthsight, IKEA has been manufacturing beechwood chairs out of wood that has been illegally taken from the Carpathian Mountains in Ukraine, which is home to animals on the endangered species list like bears, lynxes, wolves, and bison.
IKEA has always been known for producing products in an eco-friendly and sustainable manner, and lately, after research, the world has found the truth. The brand was falsely faking it all and was exaggerating about being 100% eco-friendly and using environmentally cautious methods.
Greenhushing on the other hand, is the complete opposite. The companies practicing this tend to hide their environmental practices and never promote their efforts towards sustainable living and eco-friendliness due to fear of negative consequences or backlash.
Many companies are afraid because their competitors are performing greenwashing and announcing unreal data, and due to that, presenting authentic data would lead to public skepticism. Greenhushing may involve underreporting environmental achievements or keeping them relatively low-key in marketing and communication efforts. The intent behind greenhushing is to avoid the perception of greenwashing or backlash from consumers who may be skeptical of a company's motives.
Coca-Cola is one of the prime examples that we can talk about when it comes to greenhousing. Well, we all know that Coca-Cola beverages come in plastic bottles, and without a doubt, the more plastic bottles are produced, the more they are harmful to the environment. And keeping that in mind, the brand came up with the idea of making plant-based bottles that were 30% made up of plant-based materials.
Although Coca-Cola says the bottle is more environmentally beneficial than a conventional plastic bottle, it is still not good for the environment because it is still mostly manufactured from non-renewable fossil fuels.
The Sole Solution
Well, now we clearly know everything about greenwashing and greenhushing. And both practices are a great threat to the environment in one sense or another. We think you are someone who wants to live a sustainable and healthy life. As you’re reading this, you might question what’s the best way to completely perish these practices and dive towards sustainability. Well, it’s not easy, yet not impossible to achieve either.
Brands, manufacturers, and retailers should work together and publish the exact date of their respective products or services. Like us, every other brand has to start telling about where and how their product is maintained, who made the product, what resources were used, etc.
Getting real data about the amount of resources consumed and the amount of waste generated is the only way possible to overcome the harsh consequences of these practices. Being transparent about this can lead to sustainability.
Also, brands should pass the real information to their respective stakeholders and keep the transparency alive rather than promising false data and numbers just to sustain themselves in the market. No matter how vast a brand becomes, the day its real data is released and the world knows the number of useful resources that are consumed and wasted to produce unneeded products, it will never sustain itself. As a result of more definitive and unified frameworks, brands will be less concerned about greenwashing, allowing for less greenhushing, ultimately empowering consumers to make better choices, and holding the industry accountable.
So, what can you do as a consumer? Start asking questions like how and who made your product. Rather than investing your hard-earned money in invaluable products that are produced unethically, focus on conscious buying and shop from upcycling brands.