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Beware of Greenwashing

Defined as companies (mostly large corporations) that are jumping on the green movement by claiming that their products are natural and/or environmentally-friendly.  In this article by the Huffington Post, companies that were known for their green branding, like Burt’s Bees are now being purchased by much larger companies that have used synthetic ingredients for years.

So why won’t they just re-create their old products so that they no longer have synthetics and other by-products, you ask?

The reasons could vary.  Most likely, it’s more economically sound to buy an established brand with a strong following, rather than try to package a new product and lose part of their demographic trying to improve the old.

How does the public know that the newly acquired product will not be compromised by slowly adding unnatural or organic ingredients?

The one thing we can trust a company to do to have the desire to make money – at any cost.  The pink slime controversy is a great example of this.  While major fast food chains and manufacturer claimed to bring 100% USDA (or local) beef products, there was a harmless ingredient that resembled a horror movie prop being added to the meat of many popular food franchises across the world. Though some claimed this is what made certain beef products difficult to digest, there have been no scientific findings since it’s beef-based.

So what should we do in the meantime?

While we can’t speculate as to whether our favorite natural products will automatically change or downgrade once they have been acquired by a large company, we can continue to support smaller companies that do not compromise their natural skin care products for the sake of a few extra dollars.