Claims on Sustainability

Today, in the “about us” or “sustainability” section of most fashion brands, one can read a lot of information about the positive impact of brands and their environmental and social efforts. 

As a general rule, the bigger the brand, the bigger the communication budget, and the more information is provided.
This information is called sustainability claims. Sometimes these claims are real; other times, they are mainly well-written and impressive text, maybe true but with very little real impact (aka “greenwashing”). At other times, these claims are simply false.

It is almost impossible for consumers to tell the difference between what is true and false, between actions that have a significant impact and those that are insignificant. 

Fashion brands that produce responsibly have to invest a considerable amount of time and effort and sacrifice part of their margin to achieve difficult sustainability goals. For these brands, it is extremely difficult to make their claims stand out from the greenwashing campaigns of big brands with a much larger communication budget.

For a sustainability claim to be credible, it must be proven and verified by a third party. Any statement made by a brand itself potentially lacks credibility.

The European Union has released a proposal for a directive in March 2023 to set a legal frame for environmental claims.

SANE’s mission is to bring credibility to sustainability claims and help responsible brands differentiate themselves from brands that use greenwashing claims. In this way, SANE is helping consumers to believe the claims of responsible brands.

SANE has established a set of requirements which are then verified by independent and professional auditors. 

Photo: Oleg Laptev