A clothing brand was fined $3.7 million for claiming its clothes stopped the spread of COVID-19 thanks to a special 'shield' spray

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A clothing brand was fined $3.7 million for claiming its clothes stopped the spread of COVID-19 thanks to a special 'shield' spray
Lorna Jane is fined $3.7 million. Lorna Jane
  • Brand Lorna Jane has to pay a $3.7 million fine for claiming its clothes stopped COVID-19 spreading.
  • The brand was sued by an Australian consumer watchdog at the end of 2020.
  • Its CEO accepted the court's ruling and said that it was misled by its supplier.

Activewear brand Lorna Jane must pay a $3.7 million ($5 million Australian dollars) fine after it claimed its clothing could stop the spread of COVID-19, a court ruled.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) took the brand - which in 2014 described itself to Insider as the Lululemon of Australia - to court at the end of 2020.

The ACCC claimed Lorna Jane made "misleading claims" about its clothes preventing the spread of COVID-19. The brand said it sprayed its clothes with a "Lorna Jane shield," the ACCC said.

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"LJ SHIELD is a groundbreaking technology that makes transferal of all pathogens to your Activewear (and let's face it, the one we're all thinking about is Covid-19) impossible by eliminating the virus on contact with the fabric," the brand wrote in a post on Instagram, per the ACCC.

Lorna Jane accepted the court's ruling and said that it was misled by a supplier, the BBC reported.

According to the ACCC, the company made these claims in ads on social media, in its stores, and on its website.

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"We allege that the statements made by Lorna Jane gave the impression that the COVID-19 claims were based on scientific or technological evidence when this was not the case," ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said at the time.

She added: "We are particularly concerned about this because consumers often trust well-known brands and assume that their marketing claims are backed up by solid evidence."

Lorna Jane CEO Bill Clarkson said in a statement shared with the BBC that "a trusted supplier sold us a product that did not perform as promised."

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"They led us to believe the technology behind LJ Shield was being sold elsewhere in Australia, the USA, China, and Taiwan and that it was both anti-bacterial and anti-viral. We believed we were passing on a benefit to our customers," he said.

A spokesperson for Lorna Jane did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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