ASOS, Boohoo and Asda investigated over sustainability claims

The UK’s competition watchdog is to investigate eco-friendly and sustainability claims made by ASOS, Boohoo and George at Asda.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it would examine whether green claims made by the three fashion brands about products including clothing, footwear and accessories are misleading customers.

Part of the CMA’s wider investigation into potential ‘greenwashing’, this move follows concerns around the way the firms’ products are being marketed to customers as eco-friendly.

In particular, the CMA will look at the Responsible Edit from ASOS, Boohoo’s Ready For The Future range and Asda’s George For Good.

An initial review found that some businesses may be giving the impression that these clothing collections are more environmentally sustainable than they actually are. For example, some products may contain as little as 20% recycled fabric.

The CMA is also concerned that statements made by the companies about fabric accreditation schemes and standards may be potentially misleading, with a lack of clarity as to whether the accreditation applies to particular products or to the firm’s wider practices.

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

“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.”