First up, we write this blog to support all the brands actually doing the right thing; they're the ones who are innovating and taking the risks to make better products for consumers.

In the era of conscious consumerism, many fashion brands claim to embrace sustainability, but not all of them are genuine. Terms like "recycled," "sustainable fashion," "eco-eyewear," "eco-sunglasses,"  "made from ocean plastic," are often used as marketing ploys rather than true commitments to environmental responsibility. This phenomenon, known as greenwashing, misleads consumers into believing a brand is more eco-friendly than it actually is. Here’s a quick guide on how to spot a fashion brand that might be lying about its sustainability claims in under 60 seconds.

1. Transparency About Manufacturing

Check the Brand’s Website: The first step is to visit the brand’s website. If a brand is genuinely committed to sustainable practices, they will proudly display where and how their products are made. If you cannot find information about their manufacturing location within a minute, the brand may be hiding something.

What to Look For:

  • Clear information about where the products are manufactured.
  • Details about the working conditions and fair wages.

Red Flag: Lack of transparency or vague statements about manufacturing locations.

2. Material Composition and Transparency

Investigate the Materials: Brands often claim their products are made from "recycled materials." However, it’s crucial to know the percentage of recycled versus new materials. Look for detailed information about the materials used and their specific percentages.

What to Look For:

  • Exact percentages of recycled content.
  • Clear labelling of all materials used.

Red Flag: Ambiguous claims like "made with recycled materials" without specifying percentages.

3. Verify Material Authenticity

Google the Material Names: Sometimes brands invent fancy-sounding material names to appear eco-friendly. Copy and paste any unfamiliar material names into Google. If the search yields no results or only leads back to the brand’s own marketing, the material might be made up.

What to Look For:

  • Information and sources about the material.
  • Third-party verifications or certifications.

Red Flag: No information available on the material outside of the brand’s website.

4. Direct Communication

Contact the Brand: Take the time to write to the company and ask specific questions about their sustainability claims. Inquire about their manufacturing processes, material sources, and labor practices. Genuine brands will be eager to respond and provide detailed answers.

What to Look For:

  • Prompt and transparent responses.
  • Willingness to provide additional information.

Red Flag: No response or vague, non-specific answers to your questions.

5. Take-Back Service

Evaluate the Take-Back Policy: Responsible brands should offer a take-back service for their products, ensuring proper end-of-life disposal. Many eyewear brands now use bio-acetate, claiming it breaks down in 90-115 days. This is misleading as it requires industrial composting conditions, and the metal hinges, logos, lenses, and screws must be removed. If a brand does not offer a take-back and disassembly service, be wary—they might not be taking full responsibility for their products. It’s also worth noting industrial compost companies have very strict guidelines so won’t take back most eyewear frames which will affect the balance of their output compost.

What to Look For:

  • A clear take-back policy and service.
  • Information on how the brand handles product disposal and recycling.

Red Flag: No take-back service offered, indicating the brand is not accountable for its products at the end of their life cycle.

Good Citizens: A Commitment to True Sustainability

At Good Citizens, we believe in complete transparency and genuine sustainable practices. Here’s how we ensure our sunglasses and eyewear frames live up to our eco-friendly promises:

  • 100% Recycled Materials: Each frame is made in Sydney from 100% recycled plastic derived from a single 600ml bottle.
  • Detailed Information: We provide clear details about our materials and manufacturing processes right on our website under each product. 
  • Fair Labor Practices: All our workers receive fair wages and work in safe conditions because we manufacture our frames in Australian factories governed by Australian Law.
  • Repairable and Recyclable: Our sunglasses are fully repairable, and we take back any parts for recycling, ensuring nothing goes to waste. Visit here
  • Take-Back Service: We offer a comprehensive take-back service to handle the end-of-life disposal of our products responsibly. Visit here and scroll down to the second tab.

If you’d like to learn more about our sustainable practices and products, Visit here

By following these steps, you can quickly discern whether a brand is truly committed to sustainability or merely engaging in greenwashing. Make informed choices and support brands that are genuinely making a positive impact on the planet.

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Any questions please contact us

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Good Citizens is a global fashion leader in sustainable design. All of our sunglasses, readers and prescription frames are 100% recycled from one 600ml discarded plastic bottle. We prioritise sustainable business practices, from using 100% recycled materials, being carbon negative (not just carbon neutral) to our modular design that allows for easy repair and recycling of broken parts.

We're the most awarded eyewear brand in Australia and globally acknowledged for our best practice approach.

Help us untrash the planet®

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