In case you missed it, when it comes to environmental claims, the CMA has switched from 'chatty, friendly, awareness-raising' mode to 'probing, pointy-blame-y' mode.

It announced earlier this week that it has officially commenced a review of environmental claims in the fashion retail sector. 

This follows publication of its Green Claims Code, which sets out the CMA's expectations in relation to environmental claims made by brands, including claims about their goods and services.

The CMA explains why it has prioritised this sector. It says that "UK consumers spend [an estimated] £54 billion annually on clothing and footwear, and this is expected to continue to grow in the coming years. According to some estimates, fashion is responsible for between 2 and 8% of global carbon emissions. More and more people are trying to choose more environmentally sustainable options when buying clothes. More and more fashion businesses are making environmental claims. This includes claims that individual items of clothing are sustainable or better for the environment, claims about use of recycled materials in new clothing and entire ranges of clothing within stores being branded as ‘sustainable’."

The CMA says that its review will examine environmental claims across the fashion retail sector in the UK to determine whether or not businesses are complying with consumer protection law, and says "Where we identify businesses which we think are ‘greenwashing’ we will take appropriate action."

The CMA also says it reserves the right to investigate companies in other sectors even before its investigation into the fashion sector is complete, but for now the fashion industry sits at the top of the CMA's action list.