Bamboo Scam: Beware of Not-So-Green Fabrics


Even in a recession, sales of environmentally friendly and natural products are strong, and one company taking advantage of this trend has been selling “bamboo-fiber” textiles that are actually made of rayon.

Jonäno, Mad Mod and Pure Bamboo falsely claimed that their rayon clothing and other textile products were “100% bamboo fiber,” according to the Federal Trade Commission.  They were marketed as “ecoKashmere,” “Pure Bamboo,” “Bamboo Comfort” and “BambooBaby.”

In addition, the companies were charged with making false and unsubstantiated claims that their clothing and textile products are manufactured using an environmentally friendly process, that they retain the natural antimicrobial properties of the bamboo plant and that they are biodegradable, the agency says.

However, even if the rayon used in the textiles was made using bamboo as a source of cellulose, rayon does not retain any natural antimicrobial properties of the bamboo plant, the FTC says. What’s more, the rayon manufacturing process involves the use of harsh chemicals and produces hazardous air pollutants, and the fabric is not biodegradable as the companies claimed.

Jonäno, Mad Mod and Pure Bamboo have agreed to settlements that will ensure they use the proper names in labeling their products.  The companies can describe their products as “rayon made from bamboo,” as long as this is a true statement that can be substantiated, the FTC says.

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