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Asos, Boohoo and George at Asda sign formal agreements to use only clear green claims

Going forward the percentage of recycled or organic fibres must be clearly displayed, © CMA

Following an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Asos, Boohoo and George at Asda will change the way they display and promote their green credentials – meaning customers see only accurate sustainability information.

CMA launched an investigation into the retailers in July 2022, to scrutinise their fashion sustainability claims, having identified concerns of possible greenwashing during its initial review of the fashion sector.

While the retailers have not admitted any wrongdoing, they have each agreed to set of rules around the use of green claims. These include ensuring that all claims are prominently displayed, expressed in plain language and easy to read. Claims must also not be misleading.

Information about materials in green ranges must be specific, such as ‘organic’ or ‘recycled’ rather than ‘eco’, ‘responsible’, or ‘sustainable’ without further explanation. The percentage of recycled or organic fibres must be also clearly displayed and easy for customers to see. A product cannot be called ‘recycled’ or ‘organic’ unless it meets certain criteria.

CMA also stressed the the imagery used for any future ranges can not use symbols, such as green leaves, in a way that suggests a product is more environmentally friendly than it actually is.

Sarah Cardell, chief executive at the CMA, 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.”

All three retailer must also regularly provide the CMA with reports on how they are complying with the commitments they signed – as well as taking steps to improve their internal processes.

Hear how the likes of Avon, JD Sports, N Brown Group and DPD are cleaning up their operations at a brand new event this May.

SustainabilityX, part of RetailX Event’s Spring Festival, will delve into the challenges, future possibilities, and realities that will significantly impact the future of retail and allow brands to maintain trust in an industry in which consumers are wary of greenwashing.

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