A lot of companies these days are marketing themselves as greener, equitable and more sustainable, to attract the increasingly large number of environmentally and socially conscious customers. However, if we dig in a little deeper, we see that in many of these cases, this too is a ploy employed by the corporations in order to increase their profit margins. Also, in many instances the labels do not give the complete picture to the customers about the product or its supply chain;which is extremely misleading. This trend is observed in many industries, though this article is focused on seafood and textile industries. Seafood mislabeling is a major practice in the United States,employed mostly by retailers and distributors to increase profits. The PCC Community market based in Seattle is the largest consumer owned food co-operative in the United States was accused in 2004 of wrongly labeling 4-5 percent of its fish with the ‘Eco-Fish’ certification that was later revoked. Furthermore, it is very common for farmed salmon and shrimps imported from abroad to be mislabeled as “wild”. According to a recent survey from Oceana, 43 percent of salmon samples collected across restaurants and grocery stores throughout the United States were mislabeled.Environmentally conscious consumers bought them due to the‘wild’,whereas they came from the farms that are often blamed for polluting the waterways and environment.Practices such as these, where wrongly labeled items are sold at premium to cater to a certain niche market ends up hurting those producers who follow proper protocols and discourage them from entering the market. Another interesting case was from China and reported in Forbes, where an agreement of strategic partnership was signed between the Chinese E-Commerce giant JD.com and World Wildlife Fund in 2017, to commemorate the World Oceans Day. Ironically, the next day the website of JD.com offered a special promotional offer on blue tuna which is a critically endangered species. Such green washing activities, where being green is part of the fad to capitaliseon customer preferences; showing the intent to maximize profits rather than altruism on part of such corporations. Despite the fact, that most brands in the European Union and the US took action to improve the safety conditions of such factories, inhumane conditions in factories and the ‘slave like’ wages of laborers are still a concern Similarly, the textile industry too has been a victim of such malpractices where labels in some instances haven’t really served any purpose apart from increasing the profits of the end brands, and where basic labour rights have been violated in order to keep the prices unnaturally low. For instance, textiles constitute 80 percent of the total exports of Bangladesh, with around 25 percent of those exports coming to the United States. However, the country has been a victim of a large number of industrial labour incidents.The Rana Plaza Fire ended up taking over 1100 lives five years ago, and from the rubbles of which links to brands such as JCPenney, Benetton and Joe Fresh amongst others were found. Despite the fact, that most brands in the European Union and the US took action to improve the safety conditions of such factories, inhumane conditions in the factories and the ‘slave like’ wages of laborers are still a concern. This comes despite the fact that most brands in the developed world which buy from these cutters in the developing world, normally tend to have environmental and labour friendly tags on their products. Examples of corporations that have employed greenwashing in the textile sector in the past include big giants such as Marks and Spencer, who claimed to have implemented Plan A environmental and social policy in 2015, which ensures that suppliers would pay their laborers fair wage. Interestingly, however its units in South Asia were found to be offering wages to employees which were half of what was required to ensure a decent living. The second largest clothing retailer in the world H&M, which is trying to position itself as an ethical and sustainable solution in the garment retail industry has failed to achieve even basic fire safety regulations. The brand prides itself in its relationship with UNICEF, but ironically had to face a lot of backlash when Syrian refugee children were found working in its Turkish factories.Additionally, some brands use a yarn called ‘modal’ derived from a natural cellulose base as a raw material, which is sold as biodegradable and environmentally friendly, but has recently been blamed for the increasing deforestation in Indonesian rainforests. All these instances of malpractice are quoted from just two industries. This shows that sustainable and ethical branding can prove to be a two-edged sword especially in cases where the intentions are solely for profit maximization rather than a sense of duty to give back to the eco-system. Although, sustainability and eco-friendly green products are the need of the hour and should be strongly advocated in favour of; at the same time it is important to ensure that every product labeled as green indeed is genuinely ecofriendly and is not just another attempt by a greedy corporation to cash in on the sustainability bandwagon. The writer is graduate student at Cornell University and can be contacted at [email protected] Published in Daily Times, September 23rd 2018.