As of Tuesday, the Federal Trade Commission extended its public comment period for its marketing Green Guides.
The guides are meant to inform business leaders how to communicate about sustainability to their consumer audiences. The FTC will extend the comment period to April 24 — from Feb. 21 — giving business leaders and consumer advocates more time to offer insight for or against the review. The commission voted unanimously in favor of the extension.
As previously reported, deceptive claims can “distort” the market and hurt honest companies, as Lina Khan, chair of the FTC, said in a livestreamed meeting in December. As a federal agency, the commission aims to promote market competition while protecting and educating consumers.
The Green Guides were last updated in 2012. Despite their intent, businesses and advocacy groups argue there are major gray areas, as the FTC deliberately decided against guidelines on “sustainability” or “organic.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program clarifies organic food guidelines, but otherwise, the topic is unregulated.
With fashion largely in the dark, groups from the American Apparel and Footwear Association to Politically In Fashion are continuing to engage fashion stakeholders.
Laura Kim, partner at Covington & Burling LLP, and one of the original authors of the Green Guides, said the review of the Green Guides is one that is “eagerly” awaited. “As with the last review, I fully expect this proceeding to be a robust process that will focus on changing consumer perceptions of environmental marketing claims,” she told WWD.