Bamboo Fabrics Warning

Bamboo fabrics are becoming more and more popular, especially because manufacturers advertise just how soft the fabric feels and that it is more environmentally friendly than traditional fabric materials.  The big problem is that many manufacturers are using these false claims to sell more of their high priced products that are far from being eco-friendly.  The Federal Trade Commission is taking stand against these companies who are ‘Babmoo-zling’ consumers by making claims that their fabrics are actually bamboo.  Instead, these manufacturers are using a man-made material called rayon that no way resembles bamboo.

What is Rayon?

Rayon is a man-made fiber that is created from the cellulose found in plants and tree which is then processed with dangerous chemicals.  No matter which plant source the cellulose came from, the final product is always called rayon.  So this means that even if bamboo were used to produce the rayon, there is no characteristics of the material that resemble bamboo.  On top of that, the chemicals used emit dangerous air pollutants and possibly our health.

The Claims

It’s bad enough that companies are using rayon as a material, but also making outrageous claims that their fabrics are eco friendly.  Let’s look at some of the crazy claims and how they are completely false:

  • “100% Bamboo Fiber”: It’s great that companies are using bamboo as a fabric, but rayon is no longer bamboo.  This claim would make sense for a company that makes their fibers naturally from bamboo.
  • “ecoKashmere: Making the claim that rayon is anywhere near as soft and natural as cashmere wool is ridiculous.
  • “Bamboo Comfort”: That’s great that rayon is comfortable, but once again it’s not bamboo.  When bamboo is naturally made into a fiber, it is not nearly as soft and resembles fabrics like hemp.
  • Biodegradable: Just because bamboo is biodegradable, doesn’t make rayon as well.

Consumer Beware

The FTC currently has complaints that are either settled or still pending against many major “Bamboo” fabric manufacturers including:

  • Sami Designs, LLC,
  • Jonäno
  • CSE, Inc or Mad Mod
  • Pure Bamboo, LLC
  • M Group
  • Bamboosa

Don’t fall prey to any of these companies and be sure to research any “bamboo” clothing product before you buy.  There is no reason that we should pay exorbitantly high prices for products that are nothing as the claims make them out to be.

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Comments

  1. Perhaps one should consider that the FTC may be the one making false claims. Could it be? A Federal Agency having an ulterior motive? If our government told you they think it’s a great time for you to go out and buy a new home…wouldn’t you do a little research first to make certain that it was in your best interest?

    If you want to fully understand the allegations the FTC is stating, as well as facts and evidence to the contrary, I would highly suggest reading the informative posts at blog.greenearthbamboo.com so you can decide for yourself.

    • Pays to Live Green
    • August 26th, 2009

    Corey: I don’t see the government being off of this issue. What ulterior motive do you think they have? These fabric manufacturers are falsely swaying consumers into buying their expensive clothing on the claim that it’s environmentally friendly. I don’t think anything is wrong with claiming that their products are soft, but it’s obvious they are jumping on the “green” bandwagon just to make an extra profit. Do you think anybody would pay lots of money on their clothes if they said it was made from rayon?

  2. Pays to live green,
    Sorry for my candor, but I don’t think your tall enough to ride this roller coaster. It is rather apparent that you have neglected to do any real research on this issue. In your defense though, unless you are actively looking for data that backs up the other side of the story, then you probably won’t find that data.
    “Just because bamboo is biodegradable, doesn’t make rayon as well.” Do you even have a grasp of the FTC’s criteria for “biodegradable”, on the bamboo issue? It certainly doesn’t appear so.
    If you did, you would note that a head of lettuce does not meet the criteria for that which they are using for the bamboo witch hunt.
    If you are truly interested in reporting an objective opinion on this issue, then I would recommend you do some more research. Until then, I won’t bother with all of the data that does in fact support the other side of this story, as well as the FTC’s ineptness. I would suggest you start with the blog I referenced in my above comment.

    • Pays to Live Green
    • August 26th, 2009

    Corey: I do see you point with the biodegradability issue. Regardless of whether or not rayon is biodegradable, it seems that the FTC has a bigger issue with the fact that these companies are making it seem that the rayon fabric they are using is bamboo fabric whe that is further from the truth. I hate it when companies lie to me and others just to make a profit. That’s where I have the biggest issue with this situation. Biodegradable or not, it doesn’t make rayon an environmentally friendly product as these companies claim just because bamboo was used in the initial creation of the fabric.

  3. My daddy once told me…”Don’t get into a battle of wits with an unarmed person”
    Clearly one of us has no knowledge whatsoever about the specifics of this FTC issue. I will leave you to your own devices.
    Good luck

    • Sandra
    • September 14th, 2009

    Here’s proof of your lack of research ability – there are 4 companies named not 6. Two of the companies you mentioned are the same as two you had already mentioned, and there aren’t “many” more as you stated.

      • Pays to Live Green
      • September 14th, 2009

      How does that show my lack of research? I took information from the FTC’s site. I realize that some of the companies listed are either owned or subsidiaries of the other companies. I may have misspoke a little on the many, but that doesn’t change the point of the article. Regardless of that fact, people should know all the companies involved in this situation, even if they have several names. I appreciate your comment, but please don’t accuse me of doing lack of research when I do as much research as I can on all of my articles.

    • Christine
    • February 6th, 2010

    Thank you Corey! I have done so much research on bamboo and have been to China and talked with manufacturers, I know the claims are based on exaggerations and even lies. This bamboo witch hunt, I would bet my life on, has to do with the US Cotton Industry. They are making rayon a bad word and it would seem that they really have no idea what rayon is. Rayon is not classified as a man-made fiber! Did deep and I bet that is who we will find in bed with the FTC.

      • Pays to Live Green
      • February 6th, 2010

      Christine: From the research I found, rayon seems to be made as I detailed above. I am all for bamboo being used in products, but I do not agree with it if tons of processing using harmful chemicals is needed just to make it resemble natural fibers. The process I have heard used to make “bamboo” fibers is viscose rayon, which has environmental impacts in its production. If you know of another process used by manufacturers, you are welcome to detail it a comment.

    • Christine
    • February 6th, 2010

    Wow! It was easier than I thought to find proof of the connection between the FTC and the cotton industy. And that was just ONE GOOGLE SEARCH. MMmm. Looks like your subject matter is a bit more complicated than the “processing” practices. Take note:

    “Prior to joining the FTC, Ms. Kappler was a trial attorney with the cotton industry. A native of Bolivar County, Mississippi.
    Elsie Kappler is an attorney in the Enforcement Division of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. In addition to conducting investigations and bringing actions related to “green” claims, her responsibilities include federal court order enforcement in a range of areas, including advertising, marketing, and financial practices. Prior to joining the FTC, Ms. Kappler was a trial attorney with the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice and a partner with the Boston firm of Peabody & Arnold LLP. She received her A.B. from Wellesley College and her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law”

    • Pays to Live Green
    • February 8th, 2010

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