An online marketplace has launched which verifies the sustainability claims of every seller before listing to protect consumers against greenwashing.
Canopey.com launched today, offering a range of eco-conscious brands across food and drink, beauty and skincare, cleaning and homeware. It says it is the first online UK retail platform to vet sellers against their sustainability claims, including vegan, plastic-free, compostable and recycling credentials.
The site also provides consumers with the CO2, plastic and water savings that can be made versus the mainstream supermarket alternative of each purchase.
“The bottom line is the retail sector as a whole has a greenwashing problem,” said Canopey founder and CEO Thomas Panton. “Shoppers continue to find it difficult to know which brands to trust when it comes to their sustainability credentials, and which are simply jumping on the bandwagon.
“As big brands and retailers are increasingly trying to mislead shoppers who care about sustainability, we absolutely need a trusted hub for sustainable living,” he said.
As part of the listing process, Canopey requires “actual evidence” for each sustainable claim a product makes.
“That means as a consumer, you can trust that work is being done for you,” Panton told The Grocer. “You don’t need to be an expert, you don’t need to be an eco warrior.”
The Norwich-headquartered business has to date raised more than £442,000 in investment and expects to raise again at the start of next year.
The site has been soft-launched over the last three months, and Canopey claims customers have already saved more than one tonne of CO2e, 500kg of plastic and 150,000 litres of water by shopping on the platform.
Around 60 brands are available on the site, with 220 in the process of being listed.
The company says it is “fighting back against Amazon” and hopes to communicate the benefits of more sustainable shopping in a “tangible and non-preachy way”.
“When it comes to buying better, no one is perfect – it’s a journey,” Panton added. “We want to encourage everyone to make their own choices, that are right for them, one step at a time.”