Greenwashing is an act of maintaining a product, including fabric, with a misleading or false declaration about its environmental benefits. The term was first used by an environment specialist student Jay Westerveld in 1986 in Fiji. He found that the hotel authorities are requesting the guests to reuse towels without washing those repeatedly to save water for the environment. However, the hotel was placed in a perfect ecosystem, was saving a lot of money with this decision, and was planning for an expansion.
Examples of Media Famous Greenwashing Movements
- Chevron started a campaign to save wildlife in the 1980s while they used to spill oil on endangered ecosystems, accelerating harmful environmental changes.
- In 2000, BP introduced a calculator to measure an individual’s carbon emission, hiding the fact that the calculators themselves had the highest carbon emission level.
Harmful Effects of Greenwashing on the Fabric Industry
Greenwashing is a link of eyewash to the people to hide anti-environmental activities or reduce the cost by the name of saving nature. In the fabric industry, we can find similar examples as follows.
Today, most of the fabric industries use synthetic colors, which are made of harmful chemicals. During the manufacturing of colors for fabrics, many harmful chemical suppositories are made, which are drowned in the ecosystem, especially in water. This not only destroys the aquatic ecosystem but also affects the grounds and greenery by side. Most awfully, it harms drinking water resources as well.
The manufacturers must be aware of destroying the chemical suppositories without draining them to the water. Also, the usage of less harmful chemicals in production may help to protect nature.
Most of the fashion fabrics are made of chemical threads made in larger machines to meet the demand of the huge number of increasing population worldwide. The power loom productions are based on different source materials based on polyethylene and polyurethane. The production process creates a lot of harmful carbon chains of polymer garbage, which are deposited into rivers and canals that are poisonous enough to kill the ecosystem.
Recycling fabric with a less environmental cleaning process and engaging more water and filtration can reduce this huge effect. Using a quick decomposing process for the chemical garbage also is a way to protect the ecosystem.
Most of the mass printing processes for fashion fabrics are based on chemical colors, materials, and high-voltage electrical machines like color and fabric production. Not only the chemical wastages that kill the ecosystem, but the emission of gasses also radiate poisons to the environment and the workers involved.
Using chemical detergents spill chemicals into the environment. Also, if your clothing is not washed in proper time, that can become unhygienic to use. That can be avoided with timely cleaning with environment-friendly detergents using the minimum water possible without wasting.
In a nutshell, rather than eye-washing people with greenwashing movement, the fabric production units must be aware of harmful effects being made to nature simultaneously and take necessary steps to stop it immediately. If the fabric industry could make a way out by implementing of alternative processes and less harmful materials, causing less emission and chemical garbage, it could show a way for other industries to make nature-friendly production without hiding behind greenwashing.