February 4, 2009

Pioneering Natural Cleaning to the Masses: Clorox? Or Method?


Greenwashing Alert? 

Despite recent reports, it seems clear to us that Method (not to mention Seventh Generation) and not Clorox’s Green Works, which debuted last year, pioneered the offering of many green, effective cleaning products to the masses.

Why should we care about this green arms & hammer race? Because the tough work, the trailblazing, is done by the first company to expand a market. And when that expansion is in the name of ‘Green,’ I for one prefer that due credit be applied with respect for the facts.

Via a colleague over at Method:

“Hi Waylon,

… I know you have a standing relationship with several of my colleagues here at Method. I hope this finds you well.

I’m writing to address an Associated Press story about Clorox Greenworks that ran on Sunday, January 10, and has been syndicated in a number of news outlets…several factual errors that were printed, including a quote by Clorox CEO Don Knauss stating that this week, Clorox Greenworks is launching the “first all-natural wipe on the market.”

Unfortunately, the reporter did not contact us while writing her story. She would have learned that Method launched natural cleaning wipes made from 100% bamboo in the mass market in April 2008.

The article…implied that before Clorox launched the Greenworks line, natural products were only available at specialty stores. Method natural wipes are sold nationwide in every area of the mass market, including Whole Foods, Target, Lowe’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Amazon.com, as well as internationally.

Method has been the leading innovator in healthy home care solutions since 2001. While we are excited to see continued growth in the space and welcome the attention that the Clorox Greenworks brand brings to green cleaners, we are concerned about false or misleading claims confusing consumers. 

Greenwashing is at an all-time high, and we at Method encourage consumers to educate themselves and to examine all aspects of a company, from where they source their materials to their entire range of products, as well as their corporate practices. In turn, we expect companies to practice transparency and honesty in their messaging.

A green product should go beyond being ‘natural’ to being non-toxic, made with renewable energy, responsibly sourced, and packaged using recycled content.

We believe it’s of equal importance for a company to have an authentic mission of sustainability as it is to make an earth-friendly product.

Below is a link to the syndicated article:

For the record, elephantjournaldotcom welcomes a fact-based reply via the good folks at Clorox, and will be happy to give equal press to such reply. I do not, however, anticipate one. (Prove me wrong, Clorox). 

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