The consumer alert about the misrepresentation of bamboo fabric warns people to not be ‘bamboozled.’ (CNW Group/Competition Bureau)

Bamboo fabric may not be all it’s cracked up to be

Canada’s Competition Bureau warns that bamboo fabric is often touted as an environmentally-friendly alternative, but it may not be a “green” as you think. Bamboo fabric may also be marketed as a product that requires little or no pesticides and that it has antimicrobial and biodegradable properties.

In a statement, the bureau warns that in fact, “transforming bamboo fibre into soft fabrics for clothing, towels or bedding involves the use of a lot of chemicals that may be harmful to the environment.” It adds that the end product is called rayon or viscose “which contains no trace of the bamboo plant or its antimicrobial properties.”

The end product of fabric made from bamboo must include ‘viscose’ or ‘rayon’ on the label, says the Competition Bureau. (iStock)

Consumers are asked to report misleading labels or ads

The bureau says ads and labels for these fabrics must include the terms “rayon” or “viscose” and not simply the word “bamboo.” It invites consumers who see fabrics that only say “bamboo” to report them to the Competition Bureau online or by telephone.

Misrepresenting a product as eco-friendly is called “greenwashing” and it is against the law. Consumers are invited to report such cases as well.

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