Accused of misleading consumers, cosmetic brand Innisfree has come out to clarify its claim of producing an eco-friendly "paper bottle".
According to The Korea Herald, the company was called out because despite having a "Hello, I'm Paper Bottle" label, it was simply a facade hiding a plastic interior.
"I felt betrayed when finding out that the paper bottle product was a plastic bottle," the post read, adding an official complaint had been filed to a consumer centre.
The post attracted commenters and social media users who added to the admonishment of Innisfree, accusing the company of "greenwashing" — the process of marketing that gives a false impression about how a company's products are more environmentally sound than they actually are.
The South Korean brand has since acknowledged the backlash, noting that the label may have been misleading.
"We used the term ‘paper bottle’ to explain the role of the paper label surrounding the bottle,” Innisfree said in a statement according to The Korea Herald.
"We overlooked the possibility that the naming could mislead people to think the whole packaging is made of paper. We apologise for failing to deliver information in a precise way."
Criticism in 2020
Interestingly, it wasn't the first time that the company was forced to apologise for this particular product.
When it was first announced on the Innisfree Singapore Facebook page in August 2020, the post showcasing the limited edition "Green Tea Seed Serum Paper Bottle" even included a video which the showed the plastic interior.
A small number of individuals responded by pointing out how bizarre the "paper bottle" claim was.This prompted Innisfree to reply with a lengthy comment explaining that compared to the usual plastic bottles, this iteration reduced over 50 per cent of plastic usage.
"The thin, flimsy inner plastic liner has been used to maintain the serum’s stability up to its expiration date," wrote the company.
"Starting with this small but special challenge of creating a hybrid-type bottle, Innisfree will continue to study, develop, and further expand more sustainable packaging options."
Top image from Innisfree Singapore's Facebook page