‘Don’t be afraid to fail’: Eco marketing experts on swerving the greenwashing trap

By Julia Wray | Published: 15-Mar-2023

With rules tightening around misleading social responsibility claims, how can brands communicate clearly and effectively?

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The road to hell is paved with good intentions is an adage richly suited to sustainability claims in the cosmetics industry.

Defining yourself, or one of your products or packs, as ‘sustainable’ can suggest – intentionally or not – that you’ve successfully reached the desired conclusion of your journey in this respect.

But, because there is no single, perfect approach to any one facet of sustainability, this can skate close to greenwashing.

And fear of getting ‘called out’ by consumers for beating one’s drum about eco endeavours is the very least of it.

The rules are also tightening around misleading claims.

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has updated its guidance on misleading claims and social responsibility in advertising.

Messages like ‘good for the planet’ and ‘environmentally friendly’ now come under more scrutiny unless there is evidence that the claim relates to the full lifecycle of a product.

The pressure is on companies to be as open and accountable as possible, but where to begin?

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