The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has concluded its investigation into ASOS, Boohoo and Asda, focusing on the accuracy of their environmental claims.  

The retailers, with a combined annual UK fashion sales revenue of more than £4.4bn ($5.5bn), have agreed to make significant changes to how they market their green credentials. 

The CMA’s probe, initiated in July 2022, led to each company signing undertakings to adhere to a set of rules regarding environmental claims. 

Asos, Boohoo and George at Asda have committed to ensuring that all green claims are precise, unambiguous and not misleading.  

They have agreed that key information must be clear, prominent and expressed in plain language, making it easily accessible and understandable to consumers. 

The retailers must also ensure that statements about the materials used in their green ranges, such as “organic” or “recycled”, are specific and that the percentage of such fibres is clearly displayed.  

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The criteria for including products in environmental collections must also be transparent, detailing any minimum requirements. 

The regulator also prohibited the retailers from using “natural” imagery or icons as these could imply a product is more eco-friendly than it is.  

Claims about environmental targets must be backed by a clear, verifiable strategy, with details readily available to customers.

The retailers are also required to regularly report on their compliance with these commitments and to take steps to improve their internal processes.  

CMA chief executive Sarah Cardell said: “Following our action, the millions of people who shop with these well-known businesses can now have confidence in the green claims they see. This also marks a turning point for the industry.  

“The commitments set a benchmark for how fashion retailers should be marketing their products, and we expect the sector as a whole – from high street to designer brands – to take note and review their own practices.” 

In December 2023, the CMA announced a formal investigation into Unilever‘s environmental claims related to household essential items including cleaning products and toiletries.