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Keeping you in-the-know on environmental, social and governance developments

Previously, we wrote about NGO calling out apparel company Lululemon for allegedly misleading statements regarding the company’s sustainability claims. The Canadian Competition Bureau found these claims compelling enough to take up the investigation as the agency announced a formal inquiry into Lululemon. issued a follow-up article on the development stating:

“In February, said enough is enough, and filed a complaint with Canada’s Competition Bureau– the consumer protection agency in Canada that oversees fair and honest business practices – including false advertising and greenwashing.  The Competition Bureau reviews complaints, decides on whether it could have cause to charge them with breaking the Competition Act, and then chooses whether to investigate. And guess what? We just learned that the Competition Bureau has heard our concerns, and is officially investigating Lululemon.” alleges a pervasive greenwashing problem at Lululemon claiming that since the company started its “Be Planet” ad campaign, its emissions have doubled. Additionally, the NGO argues that systemic problems with the fashion industry such as water usage and microplastics should bar Lululemon and other apparel companies from advertising themselves as “sustainable.” The article also raises questions about “future-washing” – the practice of companies benefiting now from claims about what they plan to do in the future (e.g., “carbon neutral by 2050.”) Promises like this may or may not be fulfilled, but companies benefit from consumers’ belief that the promise will be fulfilled. Companies should be wary – while these kinds of claims may look appealing, but potentially misleading claims present more regulatory risk now than ever new given the increase in greenwashing legislation and regulation globally.

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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