What is Greenwashing?

Whether you’re a new inductee or a seasoned veteran of the plant-based beauty world, you’ve probably noticed green beauty is big business these days. As consumers have increasingly gravitated towards products that are safe for humans, animals, and the environment, many companies have caught on to the demand and have correspondingly shifted the way their products are represented. The result is something called greenwashing.

What is Greenwashing?

Greenwashing is essentially the misrepresentation of a company’s products or business practices to appear more environmentally safe or friendly than they actually are.

Greenwashing can take on many forms, from the subtle suggestion of green packaging adorned with images of flowers to more manipulative practices like labeling a product “organic” because it contains a single drop of organic essential oil.

And as customers become more interested in using products made without toxic ingredients, hormone disruptors, and known allergens, the practice of greenwashing is becoming more prevalent. In fact, a number of commercial brands or product lines considered to be “eco-friendly” are actually some of the worst greenwashing offenders.

Be Empowered – Don’t Be Fooled by Greenwashing

If you’ve seen our post What Is Clean Beauty, you know that words like “natural”, “pure”, and “earth-friendly” have no enforceable definition by the FDA, leaving the cosmetics and personal care industry almost entirely self-regulated. That means the responsibility is on each of us to be aware of the ingredients in our favorite products and make conscious choices about how we use them and which organizations we choose to give our money to.

It might sound like a daunting task, but we believe part of the clean beauty lifestyle is the empowerment that comes from knowing what you put on your body (and therefore into it) is safe.

How You Can Avoid Greenwashing Products

Now that you know what greenwashing is, how can you avoid the brainwash that comes along with these exaggerated claims? Here are some of our suggestions, and the approach we take when it comes to choosing the brands and products we carry and recommend to you.

  • First and foremost, read the ingredient label for the full story. Is every ingredient disclosed? We lovingly interrogate each of our makers so we know exactly what’s in the products we’re recommending to you. No greenwashing products here at Wren and Wild.
  • Research ingredients and make informed decisions about what is up to your standards to use. Any product containing toxic ingredients like parabens, sulfates and silicones gets a big hell-no from us.
  • Be skeptical of the green font and floral motifs calling to you from the shelf. Ask questions about who owns the company, where they source their ingredients, and how they test their products. We are proud to carry only brands that do not test on animals.

Now you know how to avoid those companies who engage in greenwashing. If you have questions, ask us!

At Wren & Wild, beauty is clean, green, and organic

Here’s what we mean: every product by our 50+ brands has been vetted to ensure its ingredients meet our strict standards for being safe, effective, and non-toxic to you and our environment. We thoroughly test each product we carry, and stock only what we’d use ourselves.

Starting your clean beauty journey can be as simple as switching out one product at a time. Stop in store, give us a buzz, or hit us up on social media – we’re here to help you make the switch!