The Truth About Greenwashing: Let's talk Authentic Sustainability

Posted by MICHELLE Gray on

Authentic sustainability and the pitfalls of Greenwashing

When a journalist recently asked us about our eco credentials, it prompted us to reflect deeply about what's happening in the market and our own commitment to sustainability. We’re proud of our journey and the milestones we’ve achieved, particularly being recognised and validated by stringent environmental regulations in Switzerland. But when it comes to many products in the laundry space things are not exactly how they seem.

Our Journey and Inspiration

I was certainly an unlikely candidate to become a founder of a laundry range. Like many, I used to dread doing the laundry. However, when my daughters developed eczema, I invested in expensive silk pillowcases, but then struggled to find a suitable detergent. This made me realise there was a significant gap in the market for tailored fabric care that you felt confident to use at home, smelt great, looked stylish, was gentle on sensitive skin and wouldn't ruin delicate silk.

Determined to find a solution, I collaborated with Australia’s longest-running family-owned manufacturer, spending a year developing our first product, Silk Savvy. This product set the foundation for the rest of the Bon Savvy range, which was guided by my core values of being Australian-made, eco-vigilant, biodegradable, vegan, cruelty-free, efficient and cost effective. We didn't stop there. Unlike many eco brands that default to eucalyptus or lavender scents, I really wanted to elevate the laundry experience with sophisticated, naturally derived, cosmetic-grade fragrances and ingredients that enhanced comfort to  transform laundry from a mundane (boring) chore into a luxurious self-care ritual.

The Pitfalls of Greenwashing

The term 'greenwashing' refers to the practice of companies presenting themselves as environmentally friendly when their practices are not genuinely as sustainable as they make themselves out to be. Two common examples are the claims around 'eco-friendly' laundry sheets and refillable pouches. All laundry sheets are made with PVA: Polyvinyl Alcohol, which is a colourless, water-soluble synthetic resin or plastic which bonds the ingredients into one dissolvable cleanser. Laundry sheets claim there is none or minimal impact to water or the environment, while pointing to research sponsored by the industry laundry sheet manufacturers.

In our books, commonsense prevails: How can fresh, natural, water be untainted by plastic being dissolved into it? It feels impossible, and we suspect in years to come the sad reality of "dissolvable plastic' in our environment will become evident. In terms of refillable pouches, they might seem like a sustainable choice, but many of the material used in these pouches do not fully break down, introducing microplastics into our water systems. These microplastics are harmful to marine life and contribute to long-term environmental pollution.

Bon Savvy’s Approach to Genuine Sustainability

At Bon Savvy, eco-vigilance is really important to us. All our products are housed in recycled and recyclable packaging and is sourced, as much as possible, from local manufacturers like Ant Packaging. This carbon-neutral plastics factory is one of Australia’s few manufacturers dedicated to turning post-consumer waste plastic into new bottles, contributing to a circular economy. By prioritising local manufacturing for our packing needs and materials like recycled plastic, we ensure no new plastic enters the environment.

Our products are not only eco-friendly but also grey water and septic tank safe, helping to minimise environmental impact. This makes them suitable for use in various environments, from urban households, to rural settings, where water conservation is crucial.

We also focus on the specific needs of different fabrics. Unlike one-size-fits-all laundry liquids (or laundry sheets that are are generally not tailored to individual fibre requirements) our products in contrast are tailored to provide expert care for various textiles. This approach promotes the longevity of garments, reducing landfill waste and supporting mindful consumer behaviour. As Livia Firth, co-founder and creative director of Eco-Age, aptly puts it: "Fast fashion is like fast food. After the sugar rush, it just leaves a bad taste in your mouth." Fast fashion's impact is staggering, with 500,000 tons of microfibres entering the ocean each year.

Global Recognition and Validation

Our commitment to quality and sustainability has garnered international recognition. We’re proud to be selected by one of the world's leading luxury department stores in Switzerland, known for its stringent environmental regulations. Switzerland is the toughest country globally for regulations around sustainability and biodegradability. Our products passed their independent testing, affirming our eco credentials. This exclusive selection showcases our innovative approach and dedication to excellence on the world stage.

Championing Australian Manufacturing

At Bon Savvy, we take immense pride in championing Australian manufacturing. Our dream is to help everyone make mindful choices about what they bring into their homes. Choosing safe, tailored laundry liquids protects both the environment and your health. Tailoring laundry care to specific fabric needs ensures your cherished items last longer, saving you money and benefiting the environment.

By opting for Australian-made products, you support local jobs and reduce the impact of manufacturing in countries known for their pollution. Making things last prevents landfill waste, safeguarding our future. Biodegradable laundry liquids protect marine life, and choosing natural fibres prevents microplastics from polluting our oceans. With Bon Savvy, every wash is a step towards a more sustainable and luxurious lifestyle.

Here is a list of our "eco credentials" below for easy reference. 

Bon Savvy's Eco Credentials

Here are the key points that define our eco-friendly approach:

  • Australian-Made Quality: Showcasing Australian manufacturing with pride, supporting Australian jobs and reducing our carbon footprint by not making our products overseas and having to ship them here.
  • Naturally Derived Ingredients: Using only plant-based ingredients in our products.
  • Biodegradable Formulas: All our laundry liquids are biodegradable.
  • Vegan and Cruelty-Free: Committed to ethical practices in all aspects.
  • pH Neutral: Free from petroleum, harsh chemicals, or toxins.
  • Australian Botanicals: Showcasing local botanicals whenever possible.
  • Concentrated Liquids: Highly concentrated formulas reduce packaging waste (500ml is equivalent to 2-3 litres of standard detergent).
  • Naturally Derived Fragrances: Using naturally derived and cosmetic grade scents.
  • Recycled and Recyclable Packaging: We mindfully choose our packaging partners as much as we possibly can, like our mini bottle provider Ant Packaging, an Australian manufacturer which is a carbon-neutral plastics factory that uses post-consumer-waste plastic.
  • Grey Water and Septic Tank Safe: For your convenience & care.
  • Tailored Fabric Care: Promoting the longevity of garments, reducing landfill waste, and encouraging mindful consumer behaviour.

We hope this helps give you an insight into the way we think about our industry and why it's imperative now, more than ever, to be vigilante in your buying choices. 

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