Two pairs of socks hanging from a washing line.

An investigation has been launched into whether eco-friendly and sustainability claims made by some fast fashion chains are actually “greenwashing”.

Asos, Boohoo and George at Asda are being investigated by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which will be scrutinising green claims made by the brands for their fashion products, including clothing, footwear and accessories.

The CMA’s interim chief executive, Sarah Cardell, said that the regulator “won’t hesitate to take enforcement action” if brands are found to have been misleading customers over their environmental credentials.

“People who want to ‘buy green’ should be able to do so confident that they aren’t being misled. Eco-friendly and sustainable products can play a role in tackling climate change, but only if they are genuine,” she said.

Amongst other things, the CMA is concerned that statements and language used by the businesses are too broad and vague, and may create the impression that clothing collections – such as the ‘Responsible edit’ from ASOS, Boohoo’s current ‘Ready for the Future’ range, and ‘George for Good’ – are more environmentally sustainable than they actually are.

Announcing the investigation, the CMA also noted “a lack of information provided to customers about products included in any of the companies’ eco ranges, such as missing information about what the fabric is made from.”