Brownwashing: when companies turn brown to be green

The greenwashing , ie the eco-lies invented by companies to create a positive image of their business, a term born of a sincrasi of English words green (green, environmentalism color) and washing (wash), is past history. But if you think the reason lies in a sudden burst of love for nature and for eco-sustainable solutions within the production chains, you are wrong! It took them a while, but now they understand it: just as seasons change, trends, colors and combinations also change. And the color to mislead consumers and appeal to their environmental awareness is not green, but brown .

Enough, therefore, to the emerald packaging and the stylized designs of leaves and trees: thanks to the proliferation of products with the new (and often fake) eco-color, from the napkins of the Dunkin ‘Donuts, Cinnabon or Traget chains, to paper “Moka” toilet paper by Cascades, up to the diapers of the Seventh Generation, the era of brownwashing may have started , 100% recycled and unbleached paper, the companies swear. Very well, we want to believe it. But the problem, denounces the Wall Street Journal , is the risk that is run by using in this way the new color taken from the ” palette of eco-compatibility“: Behind the brown tone given by the combination of red, yellow and black, the color of Mother Earth, of wood, of tree trunks, there could be marketing campaigns that have very little to do with nature. Just as it has already happened too often for “green” products. Brownwashing, in fact .

The deception of the consumer, who with the brown paper products has the feeling of ” doing something good for the environment “, explain the companies about their color choice, hides around the corner. Those who buy need ” visual differentiation “, they continue, and there is nothing better than this warm and rich color to capture those who are spiritual and seek contact with the planet. Just like brown paper products, chosen more and more often by buyers to show that they really care about the environment, unfortunately taking for granted that they are made with recycled materials and without the use of bleaching chemicals. But it’s not always like this. So eco-consumers, be careful: being “brown” does not necessarily mean being “green”.


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