Social washing can be described in a number of different ways. Stakeholders across social procurement purchasers, social enterprise, and non-social enterprise entities may be variably implicated in social washing.
Social Traders considers social washing as the practice of:
- A non-social enterprise entity taking unfair advantage of a social enterprise, and/or
- Misleading use of the ST Certification logo.
These practices may be used to make claim to, misrepresent, and/or exaggerate social outcomes that would otherwise be achieved through the procurement of products or services from a genuine ST Certified social enterprise. A misrepresentation of social outcomes can relate to either a transaction in the marketplace or the nature of the organisation in question.