ASOS, Boohoo, and Asda are being scrutinized by a U.K. regulator for misleading shoppers by making false sustainability claims.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched an investigation into the three brands’ business practices after it received reports which indicated that some of the clothes sold by these brands fail to meet green standards, and their claims may be misleading or false.
The move to scrutinize brands is aimed at putting fast fashion brands in check and reigning in their marketing efforts that exaggerate green credentials to attract environmentally conscious consumers.
“People who want to ‘buy green’ should be able to do so confident that they aren’t being misled,” said Sarah Cardell, CMA interim chief executive officer, in a statement to Reuters.
“Eco-friendly and sustainable products can play a role in tackling climate change, but only if they are genuine.”
If ASOS, Boohoo, and Asda are found to have misled customers, the CMA will likely take them to court as a next step, Cardell said, adding that this investigation was essentially just the beginning of the CMA’s work in the clothing industry.
As part of its investigation, the CMA is expected to gather evidence to decide whether these brands have breached consumer protection laws or not. The regulator will also look into the language used throughout marketing materials and assess whether or not each of the company’s criteria to deem products as sustainable is misleading.
The CMA’s move to put these brands under the magnifying lens comes at a time when the fashion industry is under increased pressure to clean up its act.