Peters & Peters

Decathlon and H&M to provide better information about sustainability to consumers

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Key facts:

In Spring 2021, ACM noticed many potentially misleading sustainability claims being made in the clothing sector. It asked clothing retailers to take a critical a look at their sustainability claims.

ACM subsequently continued an investigation into sporting goods retailer Decathlon and clothing retail chain H&M, among others. The investigation revealed that both Decathlon and H&M offered their products using general terms such as “Ecodesign” and “Conscious” without immediately specifying clearly the sustainability benefits associated with these claims.

Following ACM’s investigation, Decathlon and H&M made commitments to the regulator, promising to adjust or no longer use sustainability claims on their clothes and websites. They both committed to informing consumers more clearly to minimise the risk of misleading practices involving sustainability claims. Decathlon and H&M also agreed to donate €400,000 and €500,000 respectively to different sustainable causes to compensate for their use of unclear and insufficiently substantiated sustainability claims.

As a result of Decathlon and H&M’s commitments, ACM agreed not impose any sanctions. However, it will enforce their compliance with the commitments over the next two years.

Businesses that wish to promote their products using sustainability claims should be aware of ACM’s Guidelines regarding sustainability claims. ACM has said that it will continue to keep a close watch on the clothing sector and will not rule out imposing fines if violations are established in the future.

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