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Fashion company Zalando will alter its sustainable marketing practices after a dialogue with EU regulators. The company was making generalized sustainability claims and implying that its products had unproven sustainability benefits. Enforcement action was avoided by coming to an agreement with market regulators. A recent article from ESG Today covers the agreement stating that:

“Under the new agreement with Zalando, the company has committed to a number of actions, including removing the sustainability flag from all webpages, as well as all misleading icons, such as a leaf or a tree, that were displayed next to products, to no longer use the term ‘sustainability,’ or other terms indicating environmental or ethical benefit without justification, and to provide clear product information, such as the percentage of recycled materials used.”

This is likely one of the first of many such actions to occur in the EU. The Union is bolstering its sustainability marketing regulations through several pieces of new legislation including the Directive to Empower Consumers for the Green Transition, Green Claims Directive, and Ecodesign Regulation. Generalized claims such as those made by Zalando will be more heavily scrutinized in the future with the EU demanding that sustainability claims be backed by third-party verified evidence. Zalando isn’t giving up on its sustainability practices; the article notes that the company will begin more heavily qualifying their sustainability statements, only advertising what they can prove. That is good advice for any company.

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The Editor

Zachary Barlow is a licensed attorney. He earned his JD from the University of Mississippi and has a bachelor’s in Public Policy Leadership. He practiced law at a mid-size firm and handled a wide variety of cases. During this time he assisted in overseeing compliance of a public entity and litigated contract disputes, gaining experience both in and outside of the courtroom. Zachary currently assists the editorial team by providing research and creating content on a spectrum of ESG… View Profile