Now that terms such as ‘sustainable’, ‘green’ and ‘fair’ have taken over the world, consumers are starting to wonder about the truth behind these claims. Every company claims to ‘do good’ which has ironically devaluated the concept. Consumers are going online to find out the truth and the growing feeling that companies are greenwashing – making it more a marketing gimmick than actually being green – has created distrust and skepticism.
Consumers expect brutal honesty about these claims and companies now have to provide proof that they are actually doing good. One recent example of this is Fairphone. Fairphone is a social enterprise that aims to design and produce a smartphone with minimal harm to people and planet. The launch was successful: the first 25.000 Fairphones are already sold out and a second production is planned for 2014.
When the first batch of Fairphones was launched, consumers were skeptical about the product. How fair was it really? How and where was it produced? And how honest was the price? To provide proof, Fairphone released a complete breakdown of the costs and profits of the Fairphone, along with the statement that a 100% fair phone isn’t actually possible yet. Being brutally honest gives consumers all the information they need to make an informed decision about a company’s ethics.