Emory International Law Review


Emma Sammons


As climate change continues to relentlessly change landscapes, threaten harvests, and increase the frequency of natural disasters, legislators and regulators globally must expand upon their efforts to protect the environment and citizens from the harmful practices of corporations, some of the greatest contributors to climate change. One of the greatest perpetrators of harm to the environment is the fashion industry. The harm is further compounded by the rise of fast fashion companies. These companies utilize methods of rapid production and encourage overconsumption, resulting in a rampant storefront to landfill cycle. However, legal activists, politicians, the public, and some industry leaders have increasingly taken action to curtail the harmful effects of these fast fashion companies.

To compete for consumer attention and to protect their images in the face of increased environmental activism, fast fashion companies have begun greenwashing their products and supply chain. Through greenwashing, companies misrepresent the sustainability of their products or services, allowing the consumer to believe they are making a more environmentally friendly purchase than they really are.

This Comment outlines the current major approaches of the United States, United Kingdom, and France toward preventing greenwashing by fashion companies. This Comment looks at the successes of consumer protection laws and actions against companies accused of greenwashing to provide guidance for fashion companies and other countries that have yet to implement similar regulatory schemes. Additionally, while the United States, the United Kingdom, and France are regarded as three leaders in anti-greenwashing legislation, they each will benefit from more comprehensive and intelligible laws guiding enforcement efforts.