UK Competition and Markets Authority to review eco-friendly claims

Clothes ready for recycling

Clothes ready for recycling Credit: Bicanski on Pixnio

UK Competition and Markets Authority to review eco-friendly claims made by ASOS, Boohoo and George at Asda.

As British consumers become more committed to purchasing sustainable clothing and accessories, so major companies are anxious to persuade them that their product fits in to the ‘green’ category.

The CMA however says that it is to investigate the eco-friendly and sustainability claims made by the three companies as part of its ongoing investigation into potential greenwashing and follows concerns around the way the firms’ products are being marketed to customers.

In January this year, the CMA turned its eye to the fashion sector, where an estimated £54 billion is spent by consumers annually and its initial review identified concerns around potentially misleading green claims.

These included a number of companies creating the impression that their products were ‘sustainable’ or better for the environment – for example by making broad claims about the use of recycled materials in new clothing – with little to no information about the basis for those claims or exactly which products they related to.

Basically, it’s all about the way in which the products are described and also whether the amount of recycled material included in their clothing is made clear to the consumer as some items may contain as little as 20 per cent recycled fabric.

At this stage, this is a fact-finding mission only and the CMA has written to the three firms outlining its concerns and will use its information gathering powers to obtain evidence to progress its investigation.

Once concluded the facts uncovered will be revealed and a decision made as to whether any further action is required.

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