Fashion platforms Asos and Boohoo are being investigated by the British Competition and Markets authority regarding greenwashing. Their claims about sustainability may be misleading the public. The CMA says it ‘won’t hesitate to take legal action’.
Asos is a leading fashion platform from the United Kingdom, mostly operating in the United States and Europe. Boohoo is another British online fashion retailer. The Boohoo Group also owns popular brands like PrettyLittleThing and Nasty Gal.
‘Won’t hesitate to take legal action’
The research from the CMA includes several collections by the fashion retailers, such as the ‘Responsible edit’ from Asos and ‘Ready for the Future’ by Boohoo. The statements on sustainability are too broad and vague, the CMA finds, and could be misleading the public. Fashion and lifestyle retailer Georga at Asda is also part of the inquiry.
The sustainability statements are too broad and vague.
“Should we find these companies are using misleading eco claims, we won’t hesitate to take enforcement action – through the courts if necessary,” interim CMA chief executive Sarah Cardell says.
Broader look into fashion industry
The companies have received written concerns from the CMA. By gathering information, the market authority can further investigate. Boohoo and Asos have stated they are cooperating, saying they are committed to providing clear and accurate information.
Boohoo and Asos are cooperating with the investigation.
“People who want to ‘buy green’ should be able to do so confident that they aren’t being misled,” the interim chief executive says. “Eco-friendly and sustainable products can play a role in tackling climate change, but only if they are genuine.”
‘Fashion companies, look at your own practices’
Looking into brands like Boohoo and Asos is part of a broader look into the fashion industry by the CMA. In general, sustainability claims by businesses have been held against the light. Mere months ago, Dutch lingerie retailer Hunkemöller was sued for greenwashing by a German consumer advocate.
“This is just the start of our work in this sector.”
CMA’s interim chief executive Cardell: “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.”