Coffin Mew Update for Clients Operating in the Fashion and Textile Sectors – CMA Investigation into misleading environmental claims

Posted on: February 15th, 2022

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has recently announced its first sector review into ‘greenwashing’ by UK fashion retailers. Greenwashing is when businesses give a false impression of their product or brand’s environmental credentials, for example, claiming that an individual item of clothing is ‘sustainable’.

The CMA’s review will determine whether or not fashion retailers are complying with consumer protection laws. The CMA is asking businesses and individuals to share their experience with fashion retailers that have made green claims where they are unsure their green statements and actions match.

We expect the CMA to be in touch with several businesses asking for information as part of its review.

Why does this matter?

The CMA may deal with infringements of consumer protection law using a number of different measures. This includes taking civil action and also criminal enforcement.  There is also the potential for significant reputational damage for failing to comply with consumer protection laws and negative publicity surrounding any enforcement action.

What should you do?

We strongly recommend that our clients in the fashion sector review their compliance against the Green Claims Code. The Code sets out guidance and principles designed to help businesses comply with the law, including general consumer protection law like the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations. Businesses should use this opportunity to assess and demonstrate their compliance with the Green Claims Code and ensure they are keeping proper and comprehensive records to evidence compliance.

We have attached the Green Claims Code for ease of reference.

Need help?

Our Commercial and IP team can assist with providing advice on any of the issues contained in this Update.

 

Disclaimer – the contents of this Update is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.