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Greenwashing: How Difficult It Is to Be Transparent to the Consumer—H&M Case Study

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Part of the Palgrave Studies of Marketing in Emerging Economies book series (PSMEE)

Abstract

Greenwashing is considered as misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or a product or service. This situation frequently occurs in the fashion and textile industry with the emergence of strategies built on sustainable and green messages. Ambiguously used, keywords and strategies cause false marketing messages that end up as greenwashing. Transparency should be provided to communicate about every stage of green businesses. Regarding this background, this chapter documents a lexicon of commonly used green terms in the fashion and textile industry to communicate consumers with clear concepts. It exhibits the interpretation and misinterpretation of green-related terms by consumers. It provides the gap between consumer expectations and information that companies share. It examines the case of H&M’s sustainable actions from its positive and negative aspects and the relevance of the Fashion Revolutions Transparency Index to avoid greenwashing. Finally, it discusses how the consumer can be engaged to build more transparent strategies to prevent greenwashing under six themes by providing examples from Uruguay, Cambodia, Kenya, and Turkey. Emerging economies have the potential to be creative capitals of the world and creating green awareness will help achieve a permanent sustainable practice. Therefore, it is crucial to document existing literature and cases to build efficient and trustworthy strategies for a greener future.

Keywords

  • Sustainability
  • Greenwashing
  • Fashion
  • H&M
  • Fashion Transparency Index
  • Fashion Revolution

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Numbers indicate the correct matching percentages of the terms to their meanings.

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Kaner, G. (2021). Greenwashing: How Difficult It Is to Be Transparent to the Consumer—H&M Case Study. In: Mukonza, C., Hinson, R.E., Adeola, O., Adisa, I., Mogaji, E., Kirgiz, A.C. (eds) Green Marketing in Emerging Markets. Palgrave Studies of Marketing in Emerging Economies. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-74065-8_9

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