Greenwashing might seem like a relatively new phenomenon but the term was actually coined back in the 1980s to describe misleading and unsubstantiated environmental claims made by corporations.
In beauty, the problem is rife due to the lack of regulations around certain terms like 'clean' and 'organic', that make products sound more environmentally friendly than they actually are. But in response to increasingly discerning consumers, who are eager to understand exactly what is going into the products they use, two companies have joined forces to create a tool that aims to tackle greenwashing in beauty.
Tech platform, Provenance, and UK e-tailer, Cult Beauty, will now provide users with information about a brand's supply chain and its environmental impact. According to Provenance's website, it has created an incorruptible blockchain-based software that provides an honest and trustworthy way to verify the information, and once a brand submits its credentials it cannot be erased on changed on Cult Beauty’s website.
The data will show up as either 'stated' or 'verified'. "Each is backed up with evidence provided by the brand making the claim, but those that are verified (marked with a green tick) have further been confirmed by an independent third-party," the website reads.
"This is the case for certifications – such as the Cruelty-Free mark, but can also involve laboratories sharing chemical analyses, consumer research bodies and NGOs."
The initiative comes after results from a recent Cult Beauty survey revealed 23,000 of its customers highlighted the importance of transparency when it comes to deciding which brands to choose. So far Ren, de Mamiel, Omorovicza, Oskia and Sana Jardin have submitted their production details that will be shared on their Cult Beauty product listings.
Cult Beauty joins Feelunique in encouraging transparency from beauty brands – as we reported last month, the latter will be decoding 5,300 different ingredients on its website by 2020.