Saturday, October 30, 2010

Thoughts On "Greenwashing"

I've been hearing a lot about the term "greenwashing" lately. There is a growing wave of backlash against products marketed as being environmentally friendly or recycled when a closer examination reveals that their claims are thin at best.

Articles like these:

I'm sure no one is surprised by this. Big business wants to latch on to the trend of green, independent, handmade - small.

In my own life, my work as a designer and crafter sometimes overlaps with being a writer and marketer. So while I understand the frustration of consumers that feel they've been deceived, I also understand the need companies have to convey every possible benefit their products offer.

Bottom line, I agree with full transparency. And I strive for that in every way with my own work, disclosing everything I can think of. I'm completely open about the fact that not all of my supplies are recycled.

I would never claim that recycling bits of computer parts, electronics, gears, and general junk is going to move landfill mountains.

I do, however, hope that when someone wears one of my motor winding necklaces, a computer part ring, or a pocket watch pendant, that these accessories serve as a symbol. My vision is that each person who wears a little bit of junk is making a statement that we don't want disposable possessions and constant manufacturing of goods we don't really need.

It's probably naive, but I'd like to think that trashion can start conversations that get bigger than fashion.

When those conversations take place, I hope the average person won't dwell on the new thread used in making a dress from two old sweaters. It's the bigger idea that counts.