Going green: Patagonia on the perils of greenwashing

To coincide with Cannes Lions, this week on CR we’re focusing on the ad industry. Here we speak to Patagonia’s marketing director Alex Weller about the fight for brands to remain authentic amid the deluge of sustainability focused advertising

It’s no secret that environmental consciousness is big business for brands at the moment. In the wake of a wider shift in public opinion, helped in part by the impact of recent documentaries like David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II, companies have also been striving towards a greener consumer culture. Or at least, they appear to have been.

The green movement has arguably reached a tipping point over the last 12 months. Hardly a day goes past without another story hitting the headlines about McDonalds banning plastic straws, or Pret A Manger launching a water bottle cash-back scheme. While brands finally acknowledging the havoc being wreaked on our planet can only be seen as a good thing, whether their concern is genuine or just a half-baked publicity stunt is another question altogether, argues Patagonia’s Alex Weller.