Wednesday, August 12, 2009

FTC takes action on 'Bamboo-zling' Claims

I've been rattling on for over a year about bamboo RAYON and arguing that manufacturers should follow the textile labeling laws, and that consumers need to be skeptical about green claims for bamboo. Now, the FTC has released two new Alerts addressing these issues, and have taken four companies to court to halt false environmental claims. One of the Alerts, How to Avoid Bamboozling Your Customers educates businesses who sell clothing and other textile products that unless a product is made directly with bamboo fiber, it can’t be called bamboo. Have You Been Bamboozled by Bamboo Fabrics? lets consumers know that the soft “bamboo” fabrics on the market today are really rayon, made using harsh chemicals in a process that releases pollutants into the air.

In additional, the FTC announced  that it has charged four sellers with deceptive labeling and with making false or unsubstantiated claims. The sub-title reads:
Bamboo-based Textiles, Actually Made of Rayon, Are Not Antimicrobial, Made in an Environmentally Friendly Manner, or Biodegradable, which just about sums up my blogging efforts on this topic. Read the entire press release here.

It's a great new fashion trend: enforcing regulations!


Lisa said...

Thank you so much for the info on bamboo fabrics - it's amazing what we DON'T learn from reading labels, including complete supply chain information!

Nora said...

Sew Hip, a UK publication, also debunks bamboo in its most recent issue as part of an article (otherwise mushy) on organic fabric.

cath said...

Thanks for posting this information about bamboo fabrics. I have added your link about this to my Facebook page and LInkedin page to spread the news.

A couple of years ago a wonderful, online organic fabric store in New Mexico, NearSea Naturals (, refused to sell bamboo fabrics because they could not verify the sustainability of the processing, which is the first time I became aware that not all bamboo fabric were green and thus have avoided it since then.

I just read an overview about Airdye which sounds too good to be true -"AirDye® technology, from Colorep®, Inc., a California-based sustainable technology company, is a solution our planet needs today and for many tomorrows."

The company claims that their technique is sustainable because it saves on water but I could not easily find out how they "air dye " so I don't know what other resources they use instead of water.

I was wondering if you had any thoughts or information about it.

Wisdom4u said...

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 so you can decide for yourself.

Jo said...


I checked out your website, your profile and your other blog and have decided I'd rather take advice from the FTC, consumer organizations and textile scientists than a for-hire blogger or an employee of a company whose purpose is to sell bamboo as "The Fabric of our Future". Given that the Green Earth Bamboo site is a model for the misinformation cited in the FTC materials, I can understand why they would be worried. But the solution might be just to comply with the regulations, not try to tap some vague anti-government sentiment out there in the market. Characterizing the FTC's actions with the line "it’s a sad state of affairs when a government agency that is supposed to be looking out for consumers and small businesses alike, performs its duties like that of a local government in some 3rd world country- dictatorship" sounds like something you'd hear at a Tea Party rally.

As for the FTC's ulterior motives, you ARE aware they are responding to consumer complaints about the misleading labels and the poor performance of these products, right?