Four companies selling clothing marketed as made from bamboo have been charged by the Federal Trade Commission with deceptive advertising and marketing claims.
The companies sold rayon clothing and textiles that the FTC said falsely claimed:
- to use an environmentally friendly process
- to retain the natural antimicrobial properties of the bamboo plant
- to be biodegradable
While rayon can be made from bamboo, and fibers from other plants, the textile is processed with a harsh chemical that releases hazardous air pollutants, according to an FTC press release.
Companies marketing products under the names “ecoKashmere,” “Pure Bamboo,” “Bamboo Comfort,” and “BambooBaby” falsely claimed that their rayon clothing and other textile products were “100 percent bamboo fiber,” the FTC charged.
Three of the companies – Sami Designs LLC, dba Jonäno; CSE Inc., Mad Mod; and Pure Bamboo LLC – have settled the FTC’s complaints, agreeing to stop making the false claims and to abide by the Commission’s Textile Fiber Products Identification Act (Textile Act) and Rules.
Litigation continues against The M Group, Inc., dba Bamboosa, and its principals.
The companies made additional “green” claims about their products, none of which the FTC found to be true or substantiated.
All four companies claim their items retain the bamboo plant’s antimicrobial properties. The settling companies – Jonäno, Mad Mod, and Pure Bamboo – also claim that their products are made using environmentally-friendly manufacturing processes. Meanwhile, Pure Bamboo and Bamboosa make unqualified claims that their products are biodegradable, and that they will completely break down and return to the elements found in nature.
The FTC notes that, even if the rayon used in the companies’ clothing and textile products is manufactured from bamboo, rayon does not retain any natural antimicrobial properties of the bamboo plant because the manufacturing process involves dissolving the plant source in harsh chemicals, eliminating any such natural properties of the bamboo plant. In the same vein, the FTC says that the products are not made using an environmentally friendly process.