Beyond the greenwash: what does eco business really mean?

November 22, 2016

Beyond the greenwash: what does eco business really mean?

A few years ago, I was walking through the streets of Le Marais. That beautiful area in Paris where bagel shops and quaint cafes, gorgeous boutiques and art galleries collide with big brand names. I stopped at a line with hundreds of people queuing out a door and down the street. Glancing up at the glowing Uniqlo signs, I realised they were waiting to get hold of 40 Euro cashmere jumpers. A few minutes later, we were inside grabbing luxurious jumpers for everyone (and I mean everyone) that Christmas.

Fast forward almost seven years, and it has hit me that 40 Euro cashmere just doesn’t add up. It doesn’t add up from a wage perspective, it certainly doesn’t add up from an animal rights perspective, and due to the incredible impact of such high intensity farming that the land can’t keep up with, it is leading to severe environmental problems too. Areas of China where goats are farmed for cashmere are now entirely ‘dessertified’. Creating barren areas of land, which leading to dust storms that some estimate could be as far reaching as the US. It might be turning a profit, but it isn’t working for people, land or ecosystems.

At some point as business owners, we need to catch ourselves. Yes, we might have customers clambering at our doors for products like fine cashmere sweaters with very healthy markups, but at what point does our conscience and our basic values stop us?

Head over to see our full article over at The Daily Guru and 10 tips on sustainable business from my years advising some of the world's biggest and smallest brands...