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LONDON – A major new investigation found most fashion brands are blatantly flouting international regulations around green claims – and could be leaving themselves wide open to legal action. 59 per cent of claims by European and UK fashion brands, including H&M, ASOS and M&S, were “unsubstantiated or misleading to consumers,” the report from the influential Changing Markets Foundation found.

A staggering 96 per cent of green claims by Swedish brand H&M were found to be flouting UK Competition and Markets Authority’s guidelines. For ASOS this figure was 89 per cent, while for M&S it is 88 per cent.

The report authors also said the Higg tools of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition could be complicit in facilitating greenwashing. The Higg tools are widely used by brands covered in the report, many of which engage in rampant greenwashing,” said Changing Markets campaign advisor George Harding-Rolls. “Given the serious concerns about the environmental impact of polyester, and the lack of transparency as to the data behind the tools, the reality is that the illusion of sustainability given to polyester by the Higg is part of the greenwashing machinery employed by brands to mislead consumers.”

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