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Eco Copywriting 101: How to write sustainable copy for your brand

Eco copywriting 101: How to write sustainable copy for your brand

As environmentally conscious businesses, our ideal customer is highly cognizant of their own ethical standards and what they’re looking for from a brand.

They don’t stand for vague or fluffy claims or marketing that makes them feel pressured.

They seek connection and transparency and trust, and proof that a brand is as environmentally responsible as it says it is.

That’s where eco copywriting comes in.

In this blog, I cover the basics of how I write copy for my eco-driven clients to attract their perfect customers and make sales as ethically and sustainably as possible.

My aim is to give you the tools to start writing more effective copy for your green-minded business.

Ready? Let’s dive in.

What is eco copywriting?

Eco copywriting simply means marketing wording that:

  1. Helps environmentally conscious businesses sell their products or services
  2. Sells by tapping into the values and motivations of eco-conscious consumers (without greenwashing, manipulating, or exploiting the sustainability movement)
  3. Is written by a copywriter whose lifestyle and work align with their eco values

How is green copywriting different to regular copywriting?

Green copywriting puts a greater focus on the eco ethics of the product and the brand.

It’s also part of a wider movement in the marketing industry towards more ethical, values-aligned marketing and copywriting – fighting against pushy marketing styles that rely on manipulation, psychological triggers and pressure tactics (looking at you, bro marketing).

Eco copywriting is about encouraging consumers to buy consciously and ensuring their decision comes from a place of happiness and certainty, not pressure or anxiety.

Writing for eco-conscious consumers

If there’s one thing we know about eco-conscious consumers, it’s that they’re highly discerning and require trust, proof and connection when buying a product or service.

(Which makes sense given the level of greenwashing and exploitation within the sustainability movement.)

They are also uniquely driven by their environmental ethos, and this fuels every purchase decision they make.

When writing for eco-conscious consumers, it’s important to get to know them in detail before you start writing so that you can craft copy that makes them feel seen.

(PRO TIP: A copywriter can help you with this process through voice of customer research.)

5 key principles of sustainable copywriting

There’s no set rulebook for what constitutes eco copywriting. But these are some principles I follow when writing copy for sustainably minded businesses:

  1. Planet + people = profit – This means showing that the profit you make is a result of choices that are good for people and the planet. Your business needs to make money. Without a healthy income, you can’t live sustainably or be an impactful environmental steward.
  2. Transparency – Don’t hide the things you haven’t got right yet. If there are parts of your product or business that aren’t as eco-friendly as you like, let your customers know that you’re working on it (and how). Being transparent shows integrity and is much better for your brand reputation than being intentionally vague.
  3. Selling through connection, not pressure – Pressure tactics are not a particularly sustainable way of selling as they force customers to make decisions quickly. As eco brands, we want to encourage conscious buying. It’s better to build a powerful connection with customers and sell through inspiration, not manipulation.
  4. Keeping it real – Talk honestly to your readers about what they can expect from your product or service. Lead with the benefits like you would in any sales copy but be careful not to exaggerate or greenwash. Address any barriers or concerns openly rather than skimming over them. Keep it human and conversational.
  5. Backing up your words with action – The most important part! If you’re putting yourself out there as an eco brand, you need to show how you’re taking action to make your business greener. Words without action is just greenwashing.

7 basic eco copywriting tips for your brand

Ready to give it a go?

Here are 7 ideas for getting started with eco copywriting for your green-minded brand:

  1. Find your brand’s ‘why’ – Get clear on the bigger purpose that drives you and keep circling back to this as you write your copy. 
  2. Make sustainability central to your key messaging – Don’t bury your eco ethos in your copy. Make it part of your USP and key messaging. Highlight it in your homepage headers, etc. so that it’s part of a reader’s first impression of your brand.
  3. Share your story – Write up your brand’s story and put it on your About page. Be real, bring out your personality, and let your eco purpose and values shine through your story. Dig into why you started your business and add a sprinkling of personal details to spark little moments of connection. 
  4. Showcase your eco/ethical credentials – Are your products certified cruelty-free, vegan, compostable or recyclable? Have you taken courses to help reduce your environmental impact? Make any certifications clear in your marketing materials. 
  5. Get granular on environmental/ethics claims – If you’re going to make environmental claims about your business, back them up with proof. Share stories, photos of any environmental work you’ve done, certifications, etc. 
  6. Be specific about materials, ingredients, packaging, etc. – If you’re a product-based brand, give detail about every aspect of your product. Provide a snapshot of this in the product description and go into more detail on a dedicated sustainability page. Not only does this give the consumer instant confidence about your product, but it also shows your transparency and your awareness of your environmental impact.
  7. Create an environmental policy or sustainability page – Have a dedicated space on your website where you delve into your business’s environmental commitments, practices, promises and goals in detail. Note down how you actively reduce your eco impact in the day-to-day running of your business, any causes you support, any voluntary work you do, and your action plan and timeline for future improvements.

A note on greenwashing

Image credit: Brian Yurasits.
Vegware has been criticised of greenwashing as its products are labelled ‘completely compostable’ and yet can only be composted in specialist commercial facilities that are not accessible for many people in the UK. It does have further information on its website, but a lot of people are still unaware that the products cannot be home composted.

If you haven’t heard of greenwashing before, it’s when a brand makes environmental claims that are misleading and make customers think the business is more eco-friendly than it is.

It’s easy to greenwash unintentionally so you need to take care when talking about how sustainable your business is.

The best way to avoid greenwashing is to:

  1. Back up your words with action
  2. Make sure you’re not exaggerating green claims
  3. Be transparent about improvements you’re still making


I hope these tips get you started with writing the copy and messaging for your eco brand.

If you need any help, you know where to find me.

Need eco copywriting for your business?

Contact me to see how I can help.

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