Cheryl Wischhover alerts consumers to the rampant greenwashing of the cosmetics industry:
[Former cosmetic formulator Perry] Romanowski recounts a story of some classic “greenwashing.” “It’s done all the time,” he says. “We launched a line called V05 Naturals. We just took our regular formula and squirted in some different extracts, changed the color and fragrance and called it ‘natural.’”
Which brings me to one of my biggest pet peeves in all of this:
The word “natural” is meaningless. There’s no regulation of that word, unlike the designation “organic” for food products. Any cosmetics company can use it at any time in any context – they can throw some aloe into something that has three different parabens and formaldehyde in it and call it “natural.” But at the same time, we need to remember that natural doesn’t always mean safe. The impending EU perfume ingredient ban, which has the fragrance industry in a tizzy, includes several natural ingredients, because they have a high potential for causing serious allergic reactions.
Jacob Brogan sees more misleading eco-marketing in the denim industry:
Recent months have found Levi’s CEO Chip Bergh trying to show that durable pants can make the planet last a little longer… According to Levi’s, the total carbon footprint of a pair of blue jeans is a little smaller than one created by a year’s worth of daily cellphone calls. They claim that fully 58 percent of the climate change impact of a given pair of jeans comes after the consumer purchases them.
But Brogan thinks not washing jeans has more to do with fashion than environmentalism:
It might be green to wash your jeans less often, but really caring about the environment means caring about tomorrow. Any environmentalism based on a trend is bound to focus solely on today.