The Competition and Markets Authority has launched an investigation to dig deeper into many ‘eco-friendly’ claims and labels companies make. The main aim of this investigation is to protect consumers from being misled by brands and their tags.
UK consumers approximately spend £41 billion a year on ethical fashion. This trend was statically observed in the year 2019 where consumers almost bought four times as much as people spent in two decades.
The new program ‘The competition’ launched by watchdog aims to dig deeper into brands that have risen in number with sustainable tag lines. The CMA is concerned that the sudden spike in sustainable products and services could entice brands to make misleading, vague or false claims about the sustainability credentials or environmental impact of the articles they sell, as a part of their marketing strategy.
CMA states that what provokes suspensions, is when brands exaggerate their positive environmental impacts of a product or service, using complex or jargon-heavy language. The brands state that their items are eco-friendly through their packaging and logo when in reality they aren’t. The newly formed program aims to expose such claims.
Watchdog aims to investigate a wide range of sectors and will mainly focus on items consumers are most concerned about misleading claims. The company would like to acquire a better understanding of the impact of green marketing on consumers and urging the public to have their own say on what they expect from eco-friendly products. They will also study how often consumers come across a green claim and how the claims influence their purchasing decisions.
The company will also connect with other organizations, NGOs and charities on the issues to widen their knowledge spectrum.
Andrea Coscelli, the Chief Executive of the CMA, stated that the consumers were rightly purchasing goods from companies offering a greener solution and their role now was to make sure consumers can trust the claims they see on the packaging. He stated that they would support business ethically carrying out business to reduce their carbon footprints but the claims made must not mislead the consumers. He concluded that it was important for the people to know who was doing the right thing and who isn’t for the environment so they can genuinely invest in going green.
CMA intends to publish guidance for businesses next summer to assist them in the transition to a low-carbon economy without misleading consumers, following the discussions. The company will further take action if they find evidence that businesses have been or are misleading consumers.
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