Asos, Boohoo and Asda under fire over greenwashing claims

Asos, Boohoo and Asda’s clothing brand George come under fire over whether they live up to their lofty claims on sustainability

Fashion icon: Model Helena Christensen stars in Boohoo-owned Karen Millen’s Spring Summer 2022 campaign

Asos, Boohoo and Asda’s clothing brand George came under fire yesterday over whether they live up to their lofty claims on sustainability. 

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said vague slogans for their clothing ranges – including Asos’s ‘responsible edit’ – could give the impression the clothes are ‘more environmentally sustainable than they actually are’. 

Also under the spotlight is Asda’s ‘George for Good’ and Boohoo’s ‘Ready for the Future’ slogans. 

AJ Bell analyst Danni Hewson said sustainability had become a ‘buzzword’ among green-focused shoppers, and the probe raised questions about brands’ green credentials. 

Hewson said: ‘That’s the question the CMA is digging into, assessing if Boohoo, Asos and George’s sustainable lines live up to the message they are putting out.’ 

The CMA began looking at fashion retailers in January and said an initial review found concerns about ‘potentially misleading green claims’. It said it was focusing on Asos, Boohoo and George to ‘get to the bottom of its concerns’. 

CMA boss Sarah Cardell said people who want to buy green should be able to do so, confident they are not being misled. She said: ‘Eco-friendly and sustainable products can play a role in tackling climate change, but only if they are genuine. 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.’ 

The CMA will examine whether ‘green’ ranges are actually sustainable and whether customers are given enough information before buying them. It could tell the companies to stop making the claims if they are found to be misleading. 

Shore Capital analyst Eleonora Dani said the investigation was ‘potentially defining’ for the sector. 

Asos shares fell 0.8 per cent, while Boohoo rose 1.5 per cent. Both said they would cooperate with the CMA.