A few weeks ago I took the trip to CVS to pick up a bottle of shampoo because I was running low, I walked into the store and grabbed a relatively cheap bottle which happened to be Garnier Fructis with a fairly green label on it (the bottle was almost exactly like the one in the commercial at the top of the article). For this week’s blog post I figured why not dig a little deeper and see how blinded by the label I had been.
Upon watching this commercial I noticed right off the bat that it commits the sins of Irrelevance and Vagueness. Having no silicones within a product does not mean much about it, the ad makes no mention of a specific silicon-containing ingredient, and relies on consumer paranoia that any sciencey-word is inherently bad for you or your hair. The ad also waxes on about how the consumer can go “Pure” (a term never clearly defined) by using their product.
Does Garnier Fructis Actually Work Towards Helping The Environment?
While the ad may commit a couple sins it appears that Garnier is not totally bad: between 2005-12 they reduced water usage by 9.2 million gallons annually, energy usage by 17.8% (reducing CO2 emissions by 676,000 pounds), and in addition to the 92% biodegradability of the bottle about 30-50% is post-consumer recycled (PCR) material. Using 30-50% PCR is phenomenal to me since it shows an actual move towards being green since using recycled plastics is a much more expensive move than creating new ones out of virgin polyethylene terepthalate (common petroleum-based plastic) because of the lengthy process melting then purifying the different plastics into the same type for remolding.
I would give the this product a B+ for doing more than other shampoo lines to reduce their carbon footprint, but what is stopping the company from shooting for 80-100% post-consumer recycled materials and the ad also left me suspicious due to the greenwashing sins.