The increasing popularity of sustainable fashion has encouraged larger fashion labels to create their own eco-conscious lines. While this marks progression towards a greener fashion industry, companies have been accused of ‘greenwashing’. When a company greenwashes, they mislead customers into believing that their products are environmentally friendly.
Changing Markets Foundation, a non-profit organisation, recently released a report stating that 59% of green claims by U.K. and European fashion labels are misleading. The greatest offenders were H&M, with up to 96% misleading claims, followed by 89% for ASOS and 88% for M&S.
On H&M’s website, they state, “our conscious products are created with a little extra consideration for the planet.” H&M’s conscious collection has a higher price point, as you would expect for recycled or sustainable materials. However, Changing Markets Foundation discovered that the clothing pieces in H&M’s conscious collection contain a higher proportion of synthetic fibres than its general line.
Synthetic fibres, such as virgin polyester, dangerously require fossil fuels and fracking for their production. A spokesperson for Changing Markets Foundation stated that, “brands are making commitments to move away from using virgin polyester, [but] no such commitment regarding synthetics in general.”
Brands such as H&M, ASOS and M&S view sustainable fashion as an opportunity to generate greater profit margins. Changing Markets Foundation is holding these companies accountable for their misleading eco-conscious claims.
For more information on Changing Market Foundation’s report, visit http://changingmarkets.org//srv/htdocs/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/SYNTHETICS-ANONYMOUS-PRESS-RELEASE-UK.pdf.