I Wash My Green Hair With Green-Washed Products

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.




2 thoughts on “I Wash My Green Hair With Green-Washed Products

  1. They really make you feel like if you use this product, not only will you have clean and healthy hair, but you will also save the earth. Its just a way for some companies to get people to buy their products. If they tell them that they are echo friendly, more people that are all about recycling and saving the earth will buy the product.

    Abigail Cain


  2. I especially liked the last commend you made about what is stopping them from shooting for even better. That is so true. I think companies put on a facade when it comes to how environmentally conscious they are. They basically just give one initial marketing push and hope to ride the waves that that bit of advertising may stir up. After making grand claims to get people interested in their products and out buying them, I think that a lot of consumers forget why they made a decision in the first place so then the companies are off the hook. That is, until someone brings it up again and they have to scramble to recover.

    Amanda Vacca


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