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This Popular Clothing Chain Is Under Fire for Allegedly "Misleading" Shoppers

The well known company has just been hit with a new lawsuit.

Buying clothes can be a frustrating experience. Trying to find pieces that both fit and are in a style you actually like ends up being time-consuming and often expensive. And if you're spending a lot of money on clothes, the last thing you want is to feel like you've been wronged by the retailer you're buying from. Unfortunately, one popular clothing company is now facing backlash for allegedly "misleading" its shoppers. Read on to find more about why one well known chain is in hot water.

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A number of retailers have been sued by consumers recently.

Concept image of a lawsuit

Countless businesses have been hit with consumer lawsuits in recent months, including some names you know well.

Back in May, a shopper sued CVS over claims that it misleads consumers into buying its store-brand alcohol-based hand sanitizer by advertising that it kills 99.9 percent of germs—which the plaintiff alleges has been "scientifically proven" not to be true.

And just this month, a lawsuit was filed against Walmart for its store-brand Great Value Chocolate Caramel Coffee Creamer, as one shopper claimed that the product and Walmart's marketing of it violates both federal and consumer laws, because it is a coffee whitener, not a creamer.

Now, another popular retailer is facing a lawsuit over allegations that it is "misleading" shoppers.

A well known clothing company has been accused of false advertising.

Rear view of young woman looking at clothes on rack in her hands and choosing a new style for herself in the clothes store

A new consumer lawsuit has been levied against H&M, The Fashion Law reported. According to the news outlet, plaintiff Chelsea Commodore filed the suit in a New York federal court on July 22, alleging that the popular clothing chain is "misleading" shoppers into buying its products through false advertising. Commodore claims that H&M is "taking advantage of consumers' interest" in sustainability and in products that "do not harm the environment."

"The goal of H&M's advertising scheme is to market and sell products that capitalize on the growing segment of consumers who care about the environment, but H&M does so in a misleading and deceptive way," the suit states, per Top Class Actions.

Best Life has reached out to H&M for comment on the lawsuit, but has not yet heard back.

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The lawsuit claims that H&M is falsifying data to sell products.

Entrance to H&M store, clothing retail company in the city center at night
Artur Bogacki / iStock

In 2021, H&M introduced "Sustainability Profiles" to a select number of its products. "Each product is given a score based on the environmental impact of the materials used to make it," the clothing chain explained at the time. "On each product, customers will also see detailed data on impacts relating to water use, global warming, fossil fuel use and water pollution."

But Commodore's lawsuit claims that these Sustainability Profiles include falsified information that does not match the actual data for hundreds of products. "For example, one Sustainability Profile claimed that a dress was made with 20 percent less water on average, when it was actually made with 20 percent more water," the suit states.

By using "inaccurate and misleading data" on its Sustainability Profiles, Commodore alleges that H&M is "misrepresent[ing] its products as being better for the environment than comparable garments, when they are not."

Shoppers may be paying more for items that are not more sustainable.

close up of h&m bag being carried by a man

The lawsuit alleges that a majority of the products H&M markets as being sustainably-made are "no more sustainable than items in [its] main collection, which are also not sustainable." This misleads consumers "who pay a price premium in the belief that they are buying truly sustainable and environmentally friendly clothing," the suit claims.

H&M "seeks to differentiate itself from other fashion products by greenwashing the products and its brand," Commodore states. "[This is] a deceptive act and an unfair practice because [H&M], one of fashion's greatest polluters, knows that the products are not sustainable and contribute to significant negative environmental harms over the entire product life cycle from cultivation to incineration."

As a result, Commodore claims that she and other shoppers have "suffered economic injury," as they "would not have purchased the products or paid as much if the true facts had been known."

Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
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