Did you know 81% of shoppers conduct research before they buy?
With studies (1) showing a shift in global consumer habits based on environmental factors, it seems people are looking for the ethics and impact of their investments. But when information is hidden behind cliches and unclear claims, it can be hard to decipher the truth.
At Tripulse we believe everyone should feel confident to make informed decisions about their purchases. This Fashion Revolution Week (2) we want to make your job as conscious consumers as easy as possible, so we’ve created this guide to help you navigate ‘greenwashing’ and spot true transparency.
Fashion Revolution Week 2022
Fashion Revolution Week is the world’s largest ethical fashion movement, born out of an event that woke up the world to the secrets and exploitation in the industry.
You may remember the tragic Rana Plaza collapse in April 2013 (3). The Bangladeshi building housed five garment factories, employing 5,000 people to manufacture clothing for many of the biggest global fashion retailers. The accident killed at least 1,132 people and injured thousands more.
The tragedy sparked outrage around the world as consumers felt disgusted and betrayed by big companies. ‘Who made my clothes?’ became a trending question on social media and many realised they knew very little about what went into what they were wearing.
Fashion Revolution Week occurs around the anniversary of the event, and this year takes place from Monday the 18th to Sunday the 24th of April. Through 7 days of global education and activism, the annual campaign brings people together to fight for an industry that no longer harms people or the planet.
At Tripulse, we share this vision of a brighter future for fashion and want to empower you to take action. That starts spotting the difference between misleading marketing and a true environmental ethos. Let’s dive into the two terms that set them apart.
What is greenwashing?
Greenwashing is where brands market themselves to appear more environmentally friendly than they actually are. Alarmingly, research (4) shows that 40% of ‘green’ claims made by businesses are considered misleading, often due to:
- vague terms
- own brand ‘eco’ logos and labels
- omitting information
For example, if you walk around a high street store, you’ll likely spot the words ‘ethical’ and ‘sustainable’, dotted around. But do they tell you what ethical practices they’re implementing? And what moves are they making towards sustainability?
On their own, these terms are rather meaningless. They attract attention, but they tell you next to nothing about the brand or the product. Worse than that, they may be disguising practices the company would rather you not know about.
Luckily, the rise of conscious consumerism has meant most people aren’t so easily fooled by meaningless marketing and green gimmicks anymore. With events like the Rana Plaza crisis, faith in the fashion industry has been broken, and transparency is the key to rebuilding trust.
What does transparency mean in the fashion industry?
Transparency, for fashion brands, is being honest and open about how products are made, where they are made, by whom, and their impact. All this information should be clear to read and published somewhere readily accessible.
Transparency in fashion matters as it means that you, the consumer, have the power to act in a way that aligns with your ethics. You know where your clothes are coming from and their impact, and can decide how it sits with you.
It’s a route around greenwashing claims to a path that makes informed purchases easy. But how do you assess a brand's transparency?
We’ve created this list of factors to help you judge a brand’s transparency, along with details about how we’re making transparency a priority at Tripulse.
As certifications are awarded by external parties, after meeting extensive criteria, they’re a great indication that you can trust a brand.
That said, they’re not always 100% ‘bulletproof’. Being certified in one thing doesn’t mean the brand is perfect in everything. You might wish to take some time to search what the certification includes and excludes.
We’re proud to be Climate Neutral Certified. Our suppliers and production partners in Portugal and Germany are REACH and STEP certified, meaning that they adhere to specific social, environmental and health standards. On top of that, our production factory is GOTS certified.
2. Strict social standards
This goes back to the question of ‘who made my clothes?’. It’s best to look for brands that have strict social standards in place to ensure their workers are treated well.
We make sure to only partner up with suppliers who conform to fair and ethical practices, such as the standards of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
3. Traceable supply chain
Traceability in fashion means outlining the path that a product has gone through to end up in your hands. You want to know the full story, from the materials chosen to the shipping method, without having to do any detective work!
Traceability is an integral part of our holistic approach to sustainability. On this page, you can see the journey of your Tripulse activewear and the ethical decisions made along the way.
4. Climate action
In an industry infamous for waste and pollution, it’s important that brands share the steps they’re taking to tackle these issues. As the saying goes, ‘actions speak louder than words’.
You can see what we’re doing to protect and preserve the natural world on our Climate Action page. For example, we’re not only climate neutral, but do additional compensation by investing in climate projects with every shipping we do and by planting one tree for every product purchased.
Our blog is also a great place to learn all about our climate action, such as picking materials that reduce water waste and planting trees with every purchase.
5. Progress over perfection
When it comes to sustainability, the work is never done. No brand is perfect, and a truly transparent brand won’t lead you to believe that they are. They’ll acknowledge that they’re one part of a bigger picture and emphasize that they’re continually making improvements.
At Tripulse we are always innovating, researching, and refining our ways of working to be as ethical and sustainable as possible. We’re proud of our milestones so far and are committed to implementing new ways to build a better industry.
Greenwashing vs. Transparency
Greenwashing can’t survive in a climate where consumers seek transparency. Join the Fashion Revolution and start asking brands ‘who made my clothes?’. By demanding the details of sustainable practices and holding brands accountable for their actions, you have the power to make meaningful change.
If you’re keen to learn more about Tripulse’s holistic approach to sustainability, simply sign up to our newsletter so you can stay in the loop. We commit to never stop being honest with you as we move towards a world where fashion does more good than harm.