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Bamboo Products: Check Twice Before Purchasing Environmentally Friendly Bamboo Products


Have you purchased bamboo products from Nordstrom, Bed Bath & Beyond, JC Penny, or that were supposedly made out of “bamboo?”

Shoppers looking to purchase more environmentally friendly products did just that, as bamboo is recognized for its ability to grow quickly with little or no need for pesticides.

Most bamboo products are really made from plain rayon, which typically is made using environmentally toxic chemicals.  While different plants, including bamboo, can be used as a source material to create rayon, there is no trace of the original plant in a finished rayon product.

Companies like Nordstrom, Bed Bath & Beyond, JC Penny, and have taken advantage of consumers’ desire for safer, more environmentally friendly products by mislabeling rayon products as bamboo. After the companies ignored warning letters from The Federal Trade Commission, the FTC recently announced a $1.3 million fine against these companies for advertising rayon textiles as “bamboo”.

“It’s misleading to call bamboo that has been chemically processed into rayon simply ‘bamboo’, said Jessica Rich, Director of Consumer Protection with the FTC.  “…[I]t’s important for [consumers] to know that textiles marked as environmentally friendly alternatives may not be as green as they were led to believe.”

Under the court orders settling the FTC’s charges, Bed Bath & Beyond will pay $500,000; Nordstrom will pay $360,000; J.C. Penny will pay $290,000 and will pay $150,000 for allegedly violating the FTC Act and the agency’s textile rules.

If you purchased a bamboo product from one of these companies based on the representation that the product was “bamboo,” or from another store making similar claims, and wish to discuss your rights, please contact GSP attorney Doug Bench, Esq. at [email protected] or call (484) 342-0700 with any questions you may have.

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