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UK watchdog to probe greenwashing in fashion as demand grows

by Maria Powazka, Nov 6
1 minute read

The demand for organic, ethical and environmentally friendly products has grown substantially in the past years. According to a report from McKinsey, “Fashion’s New Must Have: Sustainable Sourcing At Scale.”, online searches for sustainable fashion tripled between 2016 and 2019.

silver framed eyeglasses on white and blue floral textile

At the same time, the industry is still lacking a set of standards that would allow consumers to differentiate between substantiated claims and greenwashing.

The UK watchdog, concerned about how the increased demand for sustainable products is encouraging brands to make false claims, is starting an investigation into greenwashing. The focus will be on sectors where consumers are most concerned about the accuracy of environmental and ethical claims, including fashion.

So what?

As demand for sustainable products continues to increase, will the number of probes into the accuracy of sustainability claims also grow? Are single industry standards a solution? Can the Higg index from Sustainable Apparel Coalition be the answer for the fashion industry? Do policy makers have a role to play in communicating the real value of sustainability standards? Is there a way to regulate the language of sustainability claims?

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