CMA to investigate 'green' claims made by ASOS, Boohoo and Asda

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is set to investigate eco-friendly and sustainability claims made by ASOS, Boohoo, and George at Asda about their fashion ranges.

The CMA’s investigation will scrutinise 'green' claims made about their range of clothing, footwear, and accessories.

The move comes as part of the authority’s ongoing investigation into potential greenwashing and concerns around the manner in which the retailers’ products are being marketed to customers as eco-friendly.

In January, an initial review by the CMA identified concerns over potentially misleading green claims from some retailers.

The claims included a number of companies creating the impression that their products were sustainable or better for the environment. Some retailers, for example, made broad claims about the use of recycled materials in new clothing – yet with little to no information about the basis for these claims and with no specific details about which products the claims related to.

The regulator’s investigation will probe areas including whether statements and language used by the businesses are too broad and vague, and potentially create the impression that clothing collections – such as the ‘Responsible edit’ from ASOS – are more environmentally sustainable than they actually are.

It will also explore whether some items have been included in these collections when they do not meet the criteria and if there is a lack of information provided to customers about products included in any of the companies’ eco ranges, such as missing information about what the fabric is made from.

Sarah Cardell, interim chief executive of the CMA, said: “People who want to ‘buy green’ should be able to do so confident that they aren’t being misled.

“Eco-friendly and sustainable products can play a role in tackling climate change, but only if they are genuine.”

She added: “We’ll be scrutinising green claims from ASOS, Boohoo and George at Asda to see if they stack up.

“Should we find these companies are using misleading eco claims, we won’t hesitate to take enforcement action – through the courts if necessary.”

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