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‘Bamboo’ Fabrics

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If you’re interested in eco-friendly products, you might be curious about bamboo, a tree-like plant that thrives in many locations and grows quickly using little, or no, pesticides. Bamboo is known for its strength and can be used in a variety of eco-friendly products. But when it is processed into fabric that is advertised as “soft,” “silky,” or “cool to the touch,” it has likely been turned into rayon or viscose using toxic chemicals. This process is far from eco-friendly, and the fabric that it creates may not be better for the environment than other types of fabric.

False Claims About Bamboo Fabric

Not all bamboo clothing or bedding is what it seems — or what it’s advertised to be. When bamboo has been chemically processed into rayon and similar fabrics, there’s no trace of the original plant left. If your goal was to buy something eco-friendly, those toxic chemicals and the rayon fabric they produced are probably not what you had in mind.

Bamboo that has been processed to make soft fabric also no longer has the same qualities as bamboo. For example, although a bamboo plant can resist the growth of bacteria, there’s no evidence that rayon fabric made from processed bamboo is “naturally” antibacterial. Real bamboo fabric that may be antibacterial is often rough or scratchy, and is rarely used in fabric you touch, like clothing or bedding.

Companies that claim their eco-friendly products contain bamboo or have antibacterial properties should have reliable scientific evidence to support the claims. To learn more about a product’s claims, you can check the product, the company’s website, or contact the company. If you aren’t satisfied with the information, you may want to choose a different product.

Report False Advertising

If you think you’ve been misled about a product, report it to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.