Greenwashing in Marketing
With the world in a state of growing environmental issues, there has been a call to action for companies that produce environmentally unfriendly products to turn to greener solutions. Just about every industry under the ozone has jumped onto the bandwagon of being allies to the environment. While many proclaim to the public of their greener procedures and products, how many of them are actually following through behind closed doors?
The term “greenwashing” represents when a company implies being environmentally conscious, but only does so as a marketing front and does not make any efforts into becoming more sustainable (1). This leads to an ethical dilemma not only on honest communication between businesses and their customers, but also on the consistent, if not increased, negative impact on the environment itself. Many corporations have found themselves facing backlash from consumers who have real concerns about climate change. In GreenPrint’s Business of Sustainability study, they found that over 57-75% of consumers, spanning from Gen Z to Boomers, are willing to pay more money for environmentally friendly products that help create a sustainable future (2).
How does this tie into the fine jewelry industry? There is no denying that there has been a conflict in the sourcing and manufacturing of required raw materials for fine jewelry since the beginning of fine jewelry itself. With the progression of time and technology, there have been advancements in the field to be able to supply options that are more sustainable to the environment and humankind. For example, lab-grown diamonds are becoming more favorable based on the reduced damages brought onto the environment from mining, which requires large consumptions of freshwater and fossil fuels that can lead to air pollution and contaminated water sources (3). When the world changes, the industry does, too.
In order to avoid greenwashing, it all comes back to honesty and communication. Showcase your sustainability claims with clear messaging, proof in data, appropriate imaging and instating greener practices into your business model. The world is dirty enough. Keep your business clean without greenwashing.