August 22, 2021 11:10 am

Jessica Knowles

Mistakes eco-friendly brands make… are you making them too?

The list is longer than you may think. However, rather than panicking, I encourage you to use this as an opportunity to learn what these common mistakes are, if your brand is making them too, and what we as business owners can collectively learn from this.

Without further ado, let’s jump in!

Why the mistakes eco-friendly brands make matter more than you may think (and why I care so much!)

Whether you’re brand-new here or have worked with me before, there’s something you should know about me: one of my main passions is sustainability, especially in the business world. 

Why? Because I love animals. Whether it be rescued animals, therapy animals (which are a big portion of my charity contributions!), or animals still living in the wild, it’s up to us to ensure that we are making choices in our businesses that allow them to have the habitat they need to thrive.

In fact, for every workshop I run I donate the planting of one tree; for every brand package that is bought, I donate to buy and preserve an acre of land for wildlife. That way, I’m not the only one giving back: I bring my clients into the fold, too!

Analysing other brands’ mistakes when it comes to being sustainable helps us to collectively understand the impact we have on the world around us, as well as gear us up to make better choices in the future.

Common sustainability mistakes “eco-friendly” brands make

Here are two main examples of “greenwashing”, which make up the majority of common sustainability mistakes that so-called eco-friendly brands make.


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The mistake: In 2015, Huggies discontinued their Pure & Natural line after promising eco-friendly packaging… only to have consumers catch on to the fact that they had only attached a small piece of organic cotton to the outside of the diapers. 

The lesson: As a brand, you need to make promises that you can keep. Building trust is everything when it comes to long-term success!

Tea bags

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The mistake: It has been revealed by the BBC that the majority of tea bag brands have plastic in them, despite them promising to be plastic-free. The biggest culprit in this is the UK’s sixth-largest tea bag brand, Clipper.

The lesson: That the truth will always come out. Being sincere in your efforts to be more eco-friendly as a brand is the only way to conduct yourself in the market. 

What can we as business owners learn from these mistakes?

As business owners, we can learn from these mistakes that eco-friendly brands make and be more genuine and thorough in our own efforts.

Inspiration for this includes:

  • Not letting “visual limits” (such as materials in packaging) cap our creativity; a lot more than you think can be made sustainable!
  • Not stereotyping our audiences. Every single ideal demographic can have sustainability integrated into it… sustainability isn’t just for “tie-dye vegans”!
  • Not falling into the trap of assuming that eco-friendly brands have to “look” natural; branding for this comes in all shapes and sizes.
  • Not assuming that you can’t be both luxury and natural.
  • Not dreaming big enough!

Products and services that are ‘good for us’ and the world have limitless possibilities. 

How are you planning on utilising this info to stand out in the sustainability market?

About the Author

I work with business owners through my 6 Step Brand LOYALTY Process that allows them to outthink, out-market and out-sell their competition...and dominate their market. Want to see the 6 life-changing steps for yourself? We can explore these 6 steps together and see EXACTLY which ones will make your business more profitable, selling more and scalable.

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