Let’s talk about greenwashing
What is an example of greenwashing?
Greenwashing means misleading clients about how environmentally-friendly your products or services actually are. The term originated in the ’60s when hotels started asking guests to reuse their towels instead of receiving clean ones every day. They claimed this was to limit water waste and to reduce energy consumption but actually, the hotels were simply benefiting from lower laundry bills! Other companies devised many other methods to greenwash; exaggerating about how much of a product is really made from recycled materials, claiming items are totally made from locally-sourced components when only a percentage is, or simply making unsubstantiated claims about how ‘green’ their business truly is.
What’s the problem with Greenwashing?
You might say that all companies stretch the truth when trying to sell to customers and of course, this is often true. The problem with greenwashing in particular, however, is that climate change is a very real and serious issue and practices that erode trust in anything that can help resolve it, reduce our chances of addressing it. At Twisted Loom, we take this very seriously and feel a strong sense of responsibility to leave as light a carbon footprint as possible as well as ensuring that we are transparent and honest in any claims we make.
How can you spot Greenwashing?
Watch out for vagueness!
Words like ‘eco’ and ‘green’ have no legal standing in themselves so if that’s all a company is offering in terms of eco-credentials, be suspicious! To be honest, at Twisted Loom, we shy away from vocabulary like this as it can be so meaningless. We like words like, accountable, locally made and sourced, hard-wearing, and biodegradable. Because we are, and let me tell you how:
- We are accountable.
A company, like Twisted Loom, which is genuinely trying hard to work in a sustainable way, will be more than happy to discuss their methods with you. It’s not easy being truly green, we know this and love a chance to show off when we can!
For example, wherever possible we try to source recycled wood for our lamp bases (not yet on sale.. watch this space!) For our furniture, we don’t just use any old offcuts either; Phil, our woodman, rejects any cheap or heavily glued plywood as it doesn’t last, it’s not good quality, and quite simply, he doesn’t like working with it.
The good stuff he picks out is always FSC certified. If you want to talk wood, feel free to ask us whatever you like! And that goes with the whole team about all our processes and products.
- We are a local business
Wool is our main choice of fabric and we source it from two local mills that have a milling and weaving heritage going back hundreds of years. Our Phil is based in Manchester too and sources all our wood for us. Our cardboard packaging is re-used and donated to us by the deli down the road from our studio!
We are moving towards using wool and rubberised coir exclusively as a filling for our products. That’s because both of these substances are biodegradable and clearly 100% natural. However, and see point 1 above, we aren’t quite there yet so sometimes have to use foam. Even here, we are extremely careful and offcuts go back to the supplier to be reused.
- Our products are hardwearing
Because we use quality components, our products are made to last – our wooden frames come with a lifetime guarantee and we also provide a Re-dazzling service for previous customers! Re-Dazzle does just that, it re-dazzles! If at some point you fancy a different fabric, then we’ll collect, re-upholster and return, all for a serious discount. We are excessively proud of our beautiful furniture and we think you should have it forever!
A woollen ottoman could be made in a far-flung country, from non-sustainable wood, filled with artificial stuffing which takes millennia to break down and covered with wool flown in from thousands of miles away. Twisted Loom Ottomans are made in Manchester, always use FSC wood, are filled with as big a variety of non-polluting substances as we can possibly source and upholstered with wool milled less than fifty miles away. We label our products like this and we’re always happy to discuss the details with you. We don’t like greenwashing and we don’t do it!
If you have any ideas or suggestions about how we can be more considerate to the environment then please get in touch: email@example.com