Marketing Green Products: Green-Colored Glasses?

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When it comes to sustainability, green building, and green products, a major currency is credibility.  We at BuildDirect are very conscious of this.  Sure, we sell bamboo flooring, cork flooring, tile made from recycled materials, and other products which have been defined as green building materials, and for good reason.  But even still, we’re on a path where we’re always looking to expand our knowledge, and to add our  voice to the conversation from where we are.

That what this blog is for.

Yet, I think the language of sustainability has filtered down to the mainstream in ways which kind of muddies the waters a bit.   I think sustainability, ‘green’, ‘environmentally-friendly’ have become little more than buzzwords in some circles by marketers.  I think this is natural enough in some ways.  I should know – I’m in marketing myself!  I think too that because the definitions of what these terms actually mean are somewhat muddied already, its easy to be disingenuous when selling products.

Image courtesy of Dano.  Click on the image to view Flickr stream.

Image courtesy of Dano. Click on the image to view Flickr stream.

Very recently, I came across a product that struck me this way.  Bamboo sunglasses – that is, sunglasses with bamboo frames – marketed as fashionably green.  Now, I just don’t know.  It could be that I don’t know how these items are made.  And it could mean therefore that I don’t know how significantly a carbon footprint has been reduced by making them using bamboo instead of plastic.  Yet, my gut tells me that on this specific product, the green angle is just that – an angle.

Having said that,  and to be fair, this site is where I found the products in question –   A lot of the sales of these items are linked to more ethical practices, which is a major issue in the fashion industry in a similar way that it is in the building industry.  As such, a site like this is an intriguing idea and hopefully one which starts constructive conversations about ethics and commerce.

What do you think?  Does your spidey-sense tingle when the language of green is used to position the selling of products like this?  Or, is this a part of a necessary transformation of an industry that needs to address ethical issues like green, and other important areas like labor costs and health and safety concerns?

Be sure to check out the ethical fashion blog too to help you make up your own mind.



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Rob Jones

Rob served as Editor-In-Chief of BuildDirect Blog: Life At Home from 2007-2016. He is a writer, Dad, content strategist, and music fan.