Game of Thrones actor Maisie Williams is facing criticism online for partnering with H&M for its sustainability initiative. Williams is the brand’s global sustainability ambassador, and people are calling her out for alleged ‘greenwashing’.
For the uninitiated, greenwashing is the process of conveying false, wrong and misleading information that a certain company’s products are environmentally inclined. For brands like H&M — that are understood to have perpetuated fast fashion in all these years — this recent initiative, therefore, is being viewed as questionable, with people wondering how fast fashion can even be ‘green’.
The actor made the announcement on Instagram recently, wherein she shared a video stating that she will join the brand to help its campaign to use only recycled or other sustainability-sourced materials by 2030.
“I am pleased to finally share the news of my partnership with H&M as ✨Global Sustainability Ambassador✨ and I cannot wait for you all to see what we have been working on. 💌” the actor wrote in the caption.
“In this role, I will be working closely with experts within H&M to drive their sustainability initiatives and shape the path towards an accessible and circular fashion future. The long term goal is to use 100 percent recycled or other sustainably sourced materials for textiles across the entire H&M Group by 2030. ♻️,” she further stated.
Williams concluded the post saying: “It’s time to take action and create more viable production circuits in fashion to protect our planet for the next generation. 🌎 🌱”
In the video, the actor was also seen urging people to evolve, rather than change.
But soon after it was dropped, people began to criticise the brand and the actor, and among them was sustainable fashion consultant Aja Barber, who took to Twitter to write that it is all a “bit disappointing”. “H&M is a massive greenwasher”.
Bit disappointing. H&M is a massive greenwasher. https://t.co/Xw4Jmomcjp
— Aja Barber (@AjaSaysHello) April 12, 2021
People also called out the brand for not really being clear with its plans, instead simply using a celebrity face to further their campaign.
Agreed. When greenwashing removes logic and sustainability engineers to have a celebrity face endorse fast fashion rather than encourage good habits and real sustainability (fair wages, fair trade or bio-materials), it is sad. Shame on the actress I liked too.
— WC (@auraizzy) April 14, 2021
This is so disappointing. Thinking about the amount of £££ celebrities being paid to be a ‘sustainability’ ambassador when they won’t pay their garment workers a living wage. And @hm STILL haven’t made measurements to stop gender based violence in their factories https://t.co/OGNyzwx47d
— Em🌞 (@EmilyyBecca) April 12, 2021
I’m so irritated by this. “More sustainably” “by 2030”?! What does that even mean 😅 As far as I can tell they’re talking about regenerated fibres & basic textile recycling, which… we who work in this are already doing! No commitment to %, long lead time. They have no values.
— Kathleen (@clothfromstring) April 12, 2021
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