1. News
August 1, 2022

CMA investigating ASOS, Boohoo and Asda over sustainability claims

The authority has warned it may investigate other firms in the fashion sector if similar claims are made against them.

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched an investigation into three major fashion brands over misleading sustainability claims.

The competition watchdog will scrutinise claims made by ASOS, Boohoo and George at Asda about their fashion products, including clothing, footwear and accessories.

Concerns include the use of ‘vague statements and language’ that may suggest clothing collections such as the ‘Responsible edit’ from ASOS, Boohoo’s current ‘Ready for the Future’ range and ‘George for Good’ are more environmentally friendly than they are.

The probe is part of an ongoing investigation into potential ‘greenwashing’ and follows concerns about the way these companies’ products are being marketed as eco-friendly.

CMA interim chief executive Sarah Cardell 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.

“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.

“This is just the start of our work in this sector and all fashion companies should take note: look at your own practices and make sure they are in line with the law.”

The investigation comes after the CMA published its Green Claims Code in September last year, through which it aims to help businesses communicate their green claims without misleading customers.

The watchdog will use its information-gathering powers to obtain evidence to progress its investigation.

ASOS agreed to co-operate with the investigation and was committed to providing clear and accurate information about its products, according to Reuters.

Last month, the CMA began an investigation into Amazon over anti-competitiveness claims made against the e-commerce giant.