WASHINGTON, DC — Four companies' products advertised as being made from bamboo are actually made of rayon and have been making claims about their products and manufacturing processes that are false or haven't been proven, according to charges from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Three of the companies have already settled with the FTC and will no longer use the false and misleading claims.
The FTC said that Jonäno, Mad Mod, Pure Bamboo and Bamboosa were all marketing rayon clothing and other products - marketed under the names ecoKashmere, Pure Bamboo, Bamboo Comfort and BambooBaby - as being made with 100 percent bamboo fiber. Rayon is a man-made fiber that can be made from the cellulose of any plant or tree, even bamboo, but since it goes through chemical processing, the resulting fiber cannot be called bamboo fiber or whatever plant was used to make it.
As we recently wrote, bamboo has become a popular material in the world of greener materials, with its broad range of uses and multiple positive characteristics, so it's no surprise companies would want to make a connection between their products and the quick-growing plant.
All four companies charged by the FTC also said their "bamboo" items were antimicrobial, but even if the rayon fiber was made from bamboo, the chemical processing used to make rayon eliminates bamboo's antimicrobial properties.
The three companies who settled the complaints against them - Jonäno, Mad Mod and Pure Bamboo - had also claimed their products were made with environmentally-friendly manufacturing processes, which the FTC argued is false since rayon manufacturing uses harsh chemicals and emits air pollutants.
Pure Bamboo and Bamboosa also said their products are biodegradable and will break down in a reasonably short period of time when disposed of. Since most clothing goes to landfills or is recycled when disposed of, two methods that do not lend themselves to quick biodegrading, the FTC charged that the claims are misleading.
The three settling companies have agreed to stop making any of the false or misleading claims they had been making unless they change their materials and processes and can prove the claims are true. The companies will be also be allowed to describe products as “rayon made from bamboo.”
Bamboo - CC license by Randomskk