The Murky Truth: Greenwashing in Canada’s Fibre and Textile Industries

14 February 2024
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Kalea Turner-Beckman, Co-founder and head of wool procurement and yarn design for Traceable Textiles in Alberta, sighs audibly when I ask her about “greenwashing,” a term that is gaining traction in the fibre and textile industries.

“Consumers,” she says, “expect honesty, not perfection.”

Greenwashing, a relatively new term that’s often deployed with an accompanying eye roll, targets companies that spend more money talking about being environmentally sustainable/responsible than they spend on actual processes.

“The public needs to be educated,” says Turner-Beckman. “They are bombarded with so much information. There’s a desire to be good stewards… But there are so many decisions and trade-offs and nothing is ever going to be pristine. It takes some due diligence. We’re all still accountable.”

Greenwashing is rife in Canada’s fashion sector. With a growing body of consumers beginning to ask questions about the source and processing of their fibre-based goods, high-profile retailers are stepping into the space with clever marketing strategies, big dollars, and slick campaigns.

Copyright © Tara Klager except as indicated.

About Tara Klager

Tara Klager is a first-generation regenerative fibre farmer raising endangered and heritage breed sheep hard against the Rocky Mountain foothills in Alberta, Canada. With a passion for the land and a firm conviction that her role is to safeguard and steward the amazing place she gets to call home, Tara, and her husband Bob, have worked to build community with a wide range of representation - from LGBTQ2+ to Indigenous organizations to fibre enthusiasts and members of the public, Tara provides a place and framework to encourage discussion and interaction between a variety of groups and people. Whether you're interested in animal husbandry and welfare, endangered sheep breeds, the variety of practices that go into regenerative agriculture and how you might apply them to your own context or fibre and all its possibilities, Tara invites you to the homestead, a world of people, place and permaculture. Welcome to my frontier!

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