The “Sin of No Proof”

Greenwashing is simply defined as a claim against a company’s products. The claim is regarding the environmental benefits of this product. For instance, if a company claims that its product, make up wipes, is environmentally friendly does not automatically means that the whole product is. There is a fraction that might be true, and this is where the whole concept of the environmental benefits start. Then that truth is significantly exaggerated and this is where the consumer becomes convinced that the product is in reality environmentally friendly.

The concept of greenwashing consists of seven “sins”. Those “sins” are: the sin of the hidden trade-off; sin of no proof; sin of vagueness, sin of irrelevance, sin of lesser than two evils, and the sin of fibbing. The second most frequently committed sin is the “sin of no proof”. The “sin of no proof” as its title implies is basically that there is no evidence that this product is what it states it is.

We have all heard of Jessica Alba. We know she is an actress. Recently she decided to open her own line of cosmetics. She wanted those cosmetics to be affordable for everyone and at the same to be made of only healthy natural products. Alba states that when people heard of her idea used to tell her there is no way she can something like that. Despite this fact she did not give up and found people who were able to help her. Recently she co-founded The Hones Company which debuted a new line of cosmetics and facial care products. It turns out the company has not been completely honest regarding the ingredients of its cosmetic products. The Honest Company faced a $5 million lawsuit based on the fact one of their products is harmful. Consumers began turning in pictures of sunburns after they had used the company’s sunscreen. According to the founders of the company, the products, as well as the company, were still young and were learning from their mistakes. This is where that grain of truth comes out as the product being healthy and subsequently exaggerated to the degree that people began trusting it without being any proof of the product’s effect.

The sunscreen in this case summarized the concept of the “sin of no proof”. People trusted the company because it was co-founded by a celebrity whose intentions were to provided a product composed only of natural ingredients but at the same time it did not have any evidence that is harmless.

Tsvetelina Georgiev


One thought on “The “Sin of No Proof”

  1. I was aware that Jessica Alba had started the company and had seen advertisements about it and videos of her promoting it in the past, but was unaware of the lawsuit or the harmful impacts that they had on consumers. Many are more likely to believe in this company because not only is it promoted by Jessica Alba, but also because she claims she started this company out of their unsureness she felt in others. Interesting.

    Colleen Crawford


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