Asos, Boohoo and Asda set ‘industry benchmark’ with green claims pledge


Fashion brands Asos, Boohoo and George at Asda have agreed to only use “accurate and clear” green claims as the UK’s competition watchdog concludes its greenwashing investigation.

The pledges secured by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will see the fashion brands committing to improve the way they promote their environmental credentials.

The anti-greenwashing move comes almost two years after the CMA first launched an investigation into the ‘green’ claims made by Asos, Boohoo and George at Asda, following concerns raised during its initial review of the fashion sector.

The firms have agreed to follow a detailed set of rules around their environmental claims, which must be “accurate and not misleading”, with key information expressed in plain language, easy to read and clearly visible.

Terms used must also be specific and clear – such as detailing the amount of recycled or organic fibres used, rather than using ambiguous phrases such as ‘eco’, ‘responsible’, or ‘sustainable’.

“Millions of people who shop with these well-known businesses can now have confidence in the green claims they see,” said CMA chief executive Sarah Cardell, describing the pledge as 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.”

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Rules surrounding use of ‘natural’ or ‘green’ imagery were also included in the commitment, as were accurate search filter requirements and the need for absolute clarity surrounding environmental targets and accreditation schemes.

As part of today’s update, the CMA has also issued an open letter to the sector, advising fashion retailers to review their green claims in light of the new industry benchmark.

Boohoo CEO John Lyttle said he was “pleased” to have been able to reach an agreement with the CMA and that the brand had “not intentionally misled customers”.

“We have chosen to sign a set of undertakings that will provide some helpful clarity on how the CMAs green claims code operates in practice,” he added.

“We remain committed to working with others to find collective solutions to the shared challenges of sustainability within the fashion industry.”

Asos said it remains committed to its Fashion with Integrity (FWI) programme and welcomes the CMA’s commitment to “ensuring equal standards are applied across the fashion industry”.

An Asda spokesperson said the retailer is “pleased to have mutually agreed the voluntary undertakings”.

“We support any measures aimed at improving consumers’ understanding of environmental claims and providing clear and consistent guidelines to the fashion industry as a whole regarding the future use of such claims.”


1 Comment. Leave new

  • What a load of nonsense! They were put under investigation for misleading customers and greenwashing. Saying they set ‘industry benchmark’ is an insult to those retailers who have followed the guidelines and to the customers who have been mislead.


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