Is PLT Marketplace Just Another Example of Green-Washing?
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Is PLT Marketplace Just Another Example of Green-Washing?

Michael Rodrigues De Jesus September 3, 2022

The new venture by the fast-fashion brand to be more eco-friendly has been branded by some as green-washing. 

What is PLT Marketplace? 

PLT Marketplace is a new app introduced by the fast-fashion brand Pretty Little Thing. The idea is for people to be able to buy and sell secondhand clothing. This venture comes at a time when people are being encouraged to buy used clothing to be kinder to the planet. 

Love Island finalist Tasha Ghouri has even signed a deal with eBay, becoming their very first pre-loved clothing ambassador! What’s more, on September 1, another Love Island finalist, Indiyah Polack, was announced as PLT Marketplace’s first ambassador. Clearly, there is a lot of buzz around secondhand clothing, which would explain why PLT Marketplace was introduced in the first place. 

The app is similar to secondhand shopping apps like Depop and Vinted. Users are able to list items to sell, both from PLT and other retailers.

With apps catering to buying and selling secondhand items already existing, was there even a need for PLT Marketplace? 

What is Greenwashing? 

Essentially, greenwashing is where a company is seemingly being eco-friendly/environmentally conscious yet is not showing any significant sustainability efforts. Furthermore, greenwashing is a marketing technique. If a company is presented as eco-friendly, people are more likely to respect that company and therefore purchase their products.

A company that greenwashes is one that is more concerned about appearing eco-friendly rather than actually minimising their harm to the environment. 

So is PLT Marketplace Greenwashing or Not?

Firstly, one must admit that it is a weird venture for a fast-fashion brand. Fast-fashion is notorious for being harmful to the environment. On top of that, factory workers for these brands tend to be on shockingly low pay. So it’s odd that a brand that is comfortable treating workers as such and harming the environment is all of a sudden eco-friendly. 

Secondly, TikTok user @emmasendalll showed how the new app isn’t as good for selling and buying secondhand clothes as others like Vinted and Depop. Watch the TikTok here.

Emma notes that PLT does not offer any protection for buyers or sellers, all disputes have to be sorted through PayPal. Moreover, PLT Marketplace does not provide any guidelines for sellers in terms of when they are expected to have shipped the item which other reputable apps do provide.

Overall, buying on the app, more so than selling, appears to be risky. The lack of guidelines and policies for sellers makes it easy to scam others through the app. On top of that, the lack of guidelines also makes it difficult for buyers to make a claim about a product. 

Here’s what people had to say on Twitter: 

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Hi, I'm Michael! I'm a Social Policy and Sociology student at the University of Birmingham. I am the current Head of Podcasting at BurnFM, a student-run radio station, and also have my own podcast. I'm excited to be writing for Freshered and branching out from radio! I enjoy writing (and reading) about social issues, music and pop culture.