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Green washing to green fatigue
The idea of green fatigue encouraged me to reflect on FMCG marketing in the 1980s. In the late 1980s we’d started to see mainstream brands selling ‘green’ products: washing-up liquid and clothes detergents that were more friendly to the environment. Concerns about phosphate-based detergents in water supplies, organo-lead compounds in petrol and the effect of chloro-fluoro carbons on the ozone layer drove a wider consumer awareness of the environment setting a zeitgeist that was ripe to sell more environmentally conscious fast-moving consumer products.
Sales of these products dropped as the recession changed consumers focus from being environmentally responsible to paying down personal debt and worrying whether they would have a job next year.
According to Ipsos as reported by Le Monde; an increasing number of consumers feel ‘too much is being done about climate change‘. A combination of ‘green wash’ products.
It was interesting to see that environmental groups seen to be part of a green conspiracy (just look at your typical Greenpeace campaign and it kind of makes sense). Greenpeace themselves have admitted that they won’t let the truth get in the way of their campaigns. They have also ran some questionable lobbying campaigns in Africa as documented by Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth Manifesto.
They also have a feeling that consumers greening efforts don’t move the needle in the first place. Le Monde describes this as green fatigue. Again a good deal of this is down to the nature of the way green campaigning is delivered. What is less apparent is whether there is a wider political aspect to this. Is there a fundamental divergence in values from the progressive consensus around globalist responsibility for climate change?
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