Hey Siri, could you please define "Greenwashing" for me?

Greenwashing refers to the deceptive practice of conveying a false impression or providing misleading information about a company's environmentally friendly products. It involves making unsubstantiated claims to deceive consumers into believing that the company is more environmentally conscious than it is.

It's always good to hear that some of our favourite brands are making efforts to be more sustainable. However, it's important to recognise that many of these brands also excel in marketing, using buzzwords like "sustainable," "conscious," "organic," "linen," "natural," and "luxe" to manipulate customers into thinking they are making a significant positive impact. Unfortunately, the sad reality is that these buzzwords often lack substance, and even if they do hold some truth, they can be undermined by contradictory and unethical practices in other aspects of the company's operations.

Let's be clear: achieving 100% environmental friendliness in the fashion industry is an unrealistic goal. Any form of production and manufacturing involving new materials will inevitably have some impact on the planet. However, what we're advocating for is a level of honesty and transparency from brands towards their customers.

Now, who are the primary culprits when it comes to greenwashing? If you're familiar with the fashion industry, you've probably guessed it - yes, it's Fast Fashion. At Silk Leppard, we're not shy about expressing our disdain for fast fashion. Once you understand what it entails, you'll likely agree with us. So, let's delve into the differences between fast and slow fashion, shall we?

Slow fashion is a mindful and conscientious approach to fashion that takes into consideration the processes and resources involved in clothing production, with a particular focus on sustainability. It emphasises purchasing higher-quality garments designed to last longer and values fair treatment of people, animals, and the planet. The key factor is the lifecycle of a garment. Does it have a short-lived existence or a long-lasting one? Is it created to be worn and cherished or worn and discarded?

Slow fashion brands can range from small boutique and bespoke labels to high-end luxury brands that prioritise design intent, quality, and quantity, and, in some cases, have well-established sustainability plans in place.

At Silk Leppard, we embrace the slow fashion ethos. Our designs transcend fleeting trends, offering a contemporary twist on classic shapes. We prioritise high-quality garments constructed to withstand the test of time.

Slow fashion represents the only viable future where fashion can minimise its impact on the environment. Now, what's the catch? You may have heard the saying, "You get what you pay for," and it holds true in this case. Slow fashion generally comes with a higher price tag per piece. However, by choosing the right brands and being mindful of your purchasing habits, you can significantly reduce the frequency of your purchases.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have fast fashion, which represents the polar opposite of slow fashion. It encompasses the cheap, mass-produced clothing that saturates both online and physical stores (although, these days, it's not even as cheap as it used to be).

Google defines fast fashion as follows:

"Fast fashion is a term used to describe clothing designs that swiftly transition from the catwalk to stores to meet the latest trends. These collections often draw inspiration from designs showcased at Fashion Week events. Fast fashion allows mainstream consumers to purchase trendy clothing at an affordable price."

We like to refer to these fast fashion brands as "mushroom brands" because they sprout up and disappear rapidly, solely driven by current trends. Today, some fast fashion brands have transformed into major conglomerates within the fashion industry, operating large online boutiques and retailers and even participating in fashion week events. It's quite perplexing, isn't it?

So, how can these brands claim to be sustainable while overproducing short-lived trends that don't align with actual demand? How can they rely on factories with low social compliance and deliver products of extremely low quality? Frankly, it's difficult for us to comprehend, and it's disheartening that more people aren't holding them accountable.

Remain vigilant against greenwashing tactics, as they are pervasive in marketing emails and social media posts. 

Choose to shop slow, conduct thorough research, and remember that the power to make a difference lies in your hands. For more information on sustainability in fashion, head over to our blog post titled "Sustainability, but make it fashion."

SL x