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Have You Been Bamboozled?

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Bamboo: it’s not just for tiki huts anymore. In fact, because it grows quickly and with little or no pesticide, it has become popular in products that range from flooring to furniture.

But according to recent FTC lawsuits against, Leon Max, Macy’s, and Sears, when it comes to soft textiles, like shirts or sheets, items that are advertised as bamboo are really rayon. What’s worse? Some bamboo wannabes were promoted as environmentally friendly, but manufacturing rayon — even when it’s made from bamboo — is far from a “green” process.

A little Fabric 411: Rayon is a man-made fiber created from cellulose found in plants and trees and processed with chemicals that give off hazardous air pollution. Any plant or tree can be used as the source of the cellulose, including bamboo, but the fiber that’s created is rayon.

So, what’s the bottom line for shoppers? Soft “bamboo” fabrics on the market today are rayon. If “going green” is important to you, “bamboo” clothing might not be the right choice.


I bought one item recently from Publishers Clearing House. It happened to be something, an emergency light, that I'd been planning to buy anyway. So I get an email that the product is being processed. The email has an order number but no customer number. It says in order to do the 3 monthly payment thing, you have to respond to this email. Except you can't get into the site without your customer number, which they haven't given you. So then you have to pay the whole thing when the product comes. I will never order anything from them again, but I wonder how many people have been scammed by PCH.

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