Almost as bad as greenwashing, is green-shaming. Aka criticizing a brand, business or consumer for not being sustainable because they aren’t perfect.
News flash: there’s no such thing as perfection when it comes to sustainability. There’s no way to live a perfectly sustainable lifestyle or to create the perfectly sustainable item.
But there are a handful of ways, big and small, that we can all be MORE sustainable. And that’s where there is opportunity for impact.
When we make sustainability this unattainable target, we often hear from people, “my impact won’t matter anyway, so why bother?” We want to empower as many of those people as possible to bother. To bother with recycling (even if they’re not really sure what goes where). To bother with mending (even if their first few attempts look horrible). To bother with shopping small & slow (even when they’re not sure where to start).
Every time we shame a brand, business or consumer for not being sustainable - according to whatever that means to us - we lose. We get so distracted by this battle of “I’m more sustainable”, “no I’M more sustainable” that we lose sight of the real problem: big business.
Being small and scrappy (pun intended) is sustainable. Being collaborative and community-oriented is sustainable. Being transparent and accessible is sustainable. That’s the kind of sustainability we’re excited about. Not the kind that makes you feel bad for not being perfect.