GREENWASHING ENABLED BY CELEBRITY HYPE

Long gone are the days when I didn’t research my favorite celebrities. One such favorite was Emma Watson, who was announced as the new muse and ambassador for Prada on August 18th, after asking on their Instagram stories ‘’who is she?’’ as if we didn’t see her the last 20 years, she is not a newbie.

My first thought was ‘’wait, Prada was rated by Goodonyouapp as Not Good Enough, so the perfume must be shady as well’’ and I was right. Prada’s fragrances are not cruelty-free, not even the latest release called Paradoxe, as in they could be tested on animals such as bunnies whether directly by the brand or indirectly by suppliers or third-party, they even sell in mainland China, where such tests are still required by law.

Emma Watson and Prada wanted to come across as sustainable in the new behind the scenes video. Yet, only the 100ml bottle of the perfume is refillable. Ethically all available 30 and 50ml bottles should also be refillable in Prada stores(later edit: Prada customer service confirmed via chat support that all sizes are refillable, a refill is sold separately and offer refills in stores). They failed to explain what exactly is sustainable about Emma’s self-image campaign advert, which barely featured the perfume(Paradoxe) she was expected to sell/promote(later edit: in Emma Watson’s refill tutorial she says a % of glass, metal, plastic and cardboard are saved).

Three photos of Emma leaked already, which is surprising to me, even the behind the scenes video was not posted by official accounts which showed lack of professionalism handling the campaign(later edit, only the teaser and bts were posted by the muse). Emma Watson did fire her Prosper PR team after she received backlash over black squares posted on her Instagram account. She must have thought she has the last word when she posted black squares recently, on the same Instagram account.

All so called luxury brands want to be perceived as sophisticated, expensive, yet testing on animals is an unnecessary practice, they could have easily said a firm ‘’NO’’ to selling their products where such practices are still required, but one can guess business and profits are above the ‘’do not harm’’ principle. If they wanted to be sustainable they would have taken action in that direction. This is another example of greenwashing enabled by celebrity hype. Is it really luxury if animals are slaughtered for a perfume?

Photo by Mack Breeden.

Emma herself is not an (eco)activist as she flew during the pandemic for leisure, feminist(slut-shamed women at 17 and was named in the Panama Papers with an off-shore company among many other unethical things) or anything close to sustainable(she is mostly papped shopping for fast fashion for which there’s plenty of photographic evidence, never for a book, music or art supplies).

I wonder what happened to ”we have so much power to change the world just by being careful in what we buy”(February 2019 on Goodonyou) and ”I have committed to only purchasing and wearing brands that are rated ‘It’s A Start’  or above, as I want to be able to support brands moving in the right direction.”(Vogue UK 2020) as most of her sartorial choices were rated Not Good Enough by the same company she endorsed(search a brand here).

Lack of a PR team means that news of her relationship with Brandon Green(son of Arcadia Group owner P. Green) overshadowed the news of her Prada collaboration, this relationship alone shows where her priorities are. A paradox – so the name of the fragrance fits Emma like a glove. She even has a diva reputation for being rude, dismissive to fans as young as 6 years old, to journalists since she was 11, to everyone from film crews, other actors, film extras, restaurant and festival staff to her own drivers to whom she had a tendency to yell at, a snob in public(from people who met her in Oxford, Headington School, Oxford Uni, Brown Uni, HP premieres, out and about etc.).

She clearly chose prestige and money over values. The Female Lead was right to advise young people to choose a role model carefully because Emma is clearly the opposite of one. Her image was built by her former PR teams and perpetuated by the media(which we know is an illusion). I’m not falling for greenwashing enabled by celebrity hype anymore. Thanks to the internet for enabling me to get better informed!

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