Greenwashing, Bono & Louis VuittonPosted: September 12, 2010
Here is some stream of consciounsness on a lazy Sunday. I just read an interesting article “Mehr Schein als Sein” in the print issues of the Manager Magazine 9/2010 about Greenwashing and how measurements like the Dow Jones Sustainability Index can easily present a false image of a company – as in the case of BP. Christian Rickens presents two methods of greenwashing: (a) Exaggerate small environmental successes in public and thus divert from the fact that your core business is not ecological. (b) Clandestinely work against strict mandatory norms and publicly presents its (minor) endeavours in the area of sustainability.
Through my open window I hear Bono and his band singing in the Zurich Letzigrund stadium, which is only 600m from my flat. This makes me think of Bono’s T-Shirt brand, EDUN, which focused its marketing on developing Africa by sourcing some processes from Africa (e.g. organic cotton). Some clicks on the quite confusing website tell me that not all of Edun’s products are made of organic cotton in Africa – some say „cotton“ and „China“. Edun’s “mission” presents us a movie about “Bidii School” that is promoted by Edun and we can see some slides from cotton fields in Africa. But there is no information about a Code of Conduct, no transparency of the supply chain, no talk about living wages, fair trade cotton or GOTS.
I then learn that Bono and his wife are supporting the marketing of Louis Vuttion by posing for Anne Leibovitz in Africa – to promote „core values“… Tomorrow some German newspapers will present the new „campaign“. How does Bono benefit? Money from the sales goes into his „Conservation Cotton Initiative“ in Uganda. Where is the connection to LV’s core business?! Maybe to deduct attention from the core business? The website of the lvmh group – to which LV belongs – does not talk about corporate responsibility or accountability, but only about solidarity – and here we return back to what Slavoj Zizek talks about in his lecture about Solidarity that I posted some days ago.