eco claim arms race
A few weeks ago, I was lucky to meet Michael Braungart (who co-wrote the thought-provoking book Cradle to Cradle about ecological product development). He helped expand our thinking about eco responsibility to being less about one attribute or another, and more about a holistic approach of thinking through the past, present, and future of every product.
In the group discussion, it came up that someday environmental responsibility won’t be a marketing position, it will be an aspect of product quality in each and every product.
Until then, we’re in a really confusing stage where just about any product can claim some level of eco-friendliness. For example, many brands have been cutting back on packaging for years. The reason was margin improvement, but now those projects can be touted as environmentally driven.
The next time I trolled the supermarket, I was really struck by some of the confusing eco claim one-up-manship. So many products were suddenly trumpeting one eco claim or another, and much of seemed ridiculous, confusing, or disingenuous. Like personal care products that are "92.4% Organic", even when most of the product making up that percentage is water.
It reminded me of an arms race. And inspired this cartoon.