Saturday, January 29, 2011

When "GREEN" Really Isn't

The attached .pdf document: The “Six Sins of GreenwashingTM”: A Study of Environmental Claims in North American Consumer Markets -- A ‘Green Paper’ by TerraChoice Environmental Marketing Inc. (November 2007) , will be of interest to consumers who are being bombarded with all kinds of claims regarding "green products", "environmental stewardship", and "earth friendly" initiatives by businesses.

Green·wash (grēn'wŏsh', -wôsh') – verb: the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service.


While much of this "GREEN"-stuff is earnestly worthwhile, and will have some beneficial impact going forward, much is also designed merely to tag along with the current fashion of marketing to a "top priority" topic in the collective unconscious. As always, individual consumers of a particular product must determine the veracity and significance of particular claims targeted at them by marketers. Brandon Oriental Rugs thinks this document is helpful in this regard by revealing the kinds of evaluations we all must make when the subject of "GREEN" is offered as justification for a particular decision we are about to make.

As an example, in our own rug industry, so-called "handmade" Tufted rugs, are being labeled "GREEN" by importers, wholesalers, and retailers who have been caught up in the quick-fix they provide to labor issues (especially rising wages) in the rug making countries. The primary justification for the "GREEN" label is that the rubber used to hold these things together is "natural latex rubber" from "real rubber trees" (no pseudo-rubber trees allowed). Wow! What isn't addressed is the fact that these "natural rubber" products don't last very long, have almost no recyclable components, and will be landfill cloggers (like another rubber product: tires).

For those to whom "GREEN" is a major concern -- and polls show it's most of us nowadays -- it does us good to remember, "Question everything".    

And something you might be questioning: "Just how much interest is there REALLY in "Green Products" and "Green Marketing?"

The following announcement recently published by a "TREND WATCHER" answers that question based on research they've done.

Green Fatigue ( )
It shows that  -- aside from a narrow demographic -- the value of "GREEN" in consumer decisions is being eclipsed by more immediate concerns. Since marketing is usually focused on what's foremost in consumer consciousness, this information indicates that, barring coercive goverenment policy, wealth conservation will trump eco-conservation in buying decisions.

(Acknowledging the above trends,  buyers of fine handmade rugs actually satisfy most priorities (both "Green-conserving" AND "Greenback-conserving) as their hierarchies of needs are met in pursuit of their rug acquisitions.)  (CK)