The term “Greenhushing” refers to the practice of a company or individual downplaying or hiding their environmentally-friendly practices or sustainability credentials. For wedding venues and suppliers, this could be for a number of reasons, which is what we will explore in this article, along with a guide on how you can ethically promote your sustainability credentials without losing your core purpose or identity.
Why would you greenhush your wedding business?
There is a rising trend of consciousness of environmental impact within the wedding industry – but there is still a long way to go when it comes to the sector embracing the principles of sustainability as being a core consideration for their business. Wedding suppliers are wary of shouting about their eco-friendly credentials for a variety of reasons:
- The impact of greenwashing and perception on sustainability
- The impact on brand perception by couples
- Scrutiny from the industry
The impact of greenwashing and perception on sustainability
Greenwashing is becoming a real issue – where brands are making sustainability claims about their businesses which are unsubstantiated or false in order to make people believe they have eco-friendly policies. The impact of this is a growing scepticism, which may make you as a wedding supplier nervous or shy about promoting your sustainability credentials. To combat the effect of this your approach in your messaging and behaviours can reassure your audience so that they can trust that you are making a genuine effort. It is not about being perfect, but being open, transparent and investing in continual learning and improvement that will result in your eco-friendly approach actually enhancing your brand.
The impact on brand perception by couples
There is some stigma still attached to the words eco-friendly and sustainability. Couples may associate the language with wedding celebrations where they would need to compromise on the experience. As an industry we can help to educate couples on the scope involved with being a sustainable wedding supplier – that it is not just about recycling or ditching the plastic straws. With the luxury and decadent experiences you can offer to clients while having an active sustainability policy which is reducing your carbon impact, there really is a best of both worlds to be had. The Sustainable Wedding Alliance are passionate about bringing this message to life, and supporting our members with the overall education of the market, and helping couples to see what a difference can be made.
Scrutiny from the industry
As an industry, the wedding vendor space is highly competitive – and very responsive to the behaviour of organisations in the sector. As a result, some wedding suppliers may not want to shout about their sustainability credentials as it may mean they lose their competitive edge, or expose them to additional scrutiny from the industry. This is one area that The Sustainable Wedding Alliance are really passionate about – creating a community of like minded brands that have the common purpose of reducing the burden on the planet. Collectively looking to learn, analyse and implement environmentally friendly initiatives that will benefit couples and the planet alike.
Why you should be shouting about your sustainability credentials
Ultimately, the more we can work together to educate and influence the industry the quicker we can make changes that will reduce the burden on the environment. We believe that having a clear transparency around your approach can truly elevate your brand, and using effective messaging will help you to attract couples who are conscious and care about who they work with for their big day.
How can your wedding business be transparent about its eco-friendly credentials?
There are several ways that your business can be transparent about its eco-friendly credentials and sustainability initiatives. Lets explore them – and how the Sustainable Wedding Alliance can support you with implementing them:
- Your website: Create a dedicated page on your website to highlight your sustainability efforts and credentials. This could include information about your sustainable sourcing, energy use, waste reduction, and other initiatives. We can help you with the content for this, and creating a full impact policy that you can share with your couples, and your supply chain.
- Product labelling and packaging: Use eco-friendly materials and labelling to indicate the sustainability credentials of your products. For example, use recycled or biodegradable materials for packaging, and include eco-labels or certifications on products where applicable. There is a lot of greenwashing in this space – we can help you to navigate through and find genuine solutions that you can incorporate.
- Annual sustainability impact reports: Creating and publishing an annual sustainability report that details your sustainability initiatives and progress may feel a bit corporate, but you can actually build something really creative to share with your audience. This report can be made available on your website, or shared with customers and other stakeholders.
- Social media: Use social media to showcase your sustainability efforts and engage with customers on sustainability topics. Share photos and videos of sustainability initiatives, or use social media to educate customers on sustainability issues.
- Transparency in supply chain: Be transparent about your supply chain, including your suppliers and their sustainability practices. Use certifications and audits to ensure that your suppliers are meeting sustainable standards.
- Accreditation: Joining a relevant sustainability membership like ours can help you to demonstrate your commitment to sustainability. Gaining accreditation will add trust to your brand and support you as you grow to consider other certifications. Once you have taken the first step and achieved the Sustainable Wedding Alliance, we can then help you to work towards other accreditations and certifications, B Corp as an example. One of our members has become the first certified B Corp wedding venue which is an incredible achievement.
The power that the sustainability movement has from both an environmental impact, and a brand perspective means that you should not be green hushing your efforts to be a sustainable wedding supplier. Why not get in touch with us to talk about how membership could help you?