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Why Greenwashing is a Problem

When it comes to cosmetics, some industry reports tend to include “nature inspired” cosmetics in their statistics for natural and organic cosmetics as a whole. What this means is that people in the industry consider that products with natural claims (whether proven or not) are the same as certified products. How fair is that ?


If we had to sum up our vision of things in one sentence, it would be this: At Antonin .B, we believe there is room for everyone BUT clarity is essential.

In a world as vast as ours, with 7 billion inhabitants, all with their own personalities and opinions, there has to be something for everyone. Of course, we prefer to go truly organic because it is more in line with our vision and our beliefs. But we also understand the limitations in that and we have to accept that not everyone will feel as concerned as we are. So, yes, there is room for conventional cosmetics. Even with its flaws and what we sometimes perceive to be cynicism, the conventional sector is still relevant.

However, when it comes to conventional cosmetics that want to dress up like sustainable and green cosmetics, it is quite enraging (and no, the word is not too strong).

What the industry perceives as a white lie is actually pure and simple deceit.


1. Greenwashing is unfair competition

Brands that submit themselves to the very demanding natural and organic certification process engage a lot of money, time and effort.

Certification bodies are not free, nor are they non-profits. The process requires hundreds (and up to thousands) of euros every year.

Also, brands that choose to go organic have to essentially ask permission for everything: from the choice of their suppliers to the cleaning products used in the production lab.

On top of that, there are serious limitations in the use of some raw materials in certified organic cosmetics.

When companies decide to “borrow” the image of organic cosmetics to sell products that have not  gone through the tedious, pricey and limiting processes above mentioned, it is quite unfair. It does not feel right to allow them to reap the benefits of organic without contributing to this cause or even doing anything at all to deserve it.


2. Greenwashing closely ressembles fraud

Greenwashing wants to pass conventional products as clean and natural to non-specialists. In other words, it takes advantage of the customers’ confusion to sell them something they actually do not want.

It is quite alright to sell conventional products to people who are looking for conventional cosmetics. It is completely different to sell conventional products to people who are looking  for green alternatives. It is simply misleading.


Today, truly organic companies are asking for more clarity. The Soil Association (in the UK) will start a campaign specifically on that subject in september.


What about you? What do you think?

Is it a problem to you? What could be done?

Please leave a comment here or tag us on Twitter #AntoninB #TrulyOrganic

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