Bamboozled

Just after I declare my love and affection for my new bamboo tights, the Wall Street Journal arrives on my morning doorstep* with the headline article of the Life & Style section reading, "Picking Apart Bamboo Couture." Not that I consider my grey and black tights couture, and although it's perhaps non-PC to admit it, I didn't buy them for the "eco" label. I just wanted tights.

Good thing, because that's apparently the sham that was revealed in an FTC report, "Have You Been Bamboozled by Bamboo Fabrics?" Apparently, bamboo is essentially really just rayon, and furthermore:

"The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, wants you to know that the soft “bamboo” fabrics on the market today are rayon. They are made using toxic chemicals in a process that releases pollutants into the air...Even when bamboo is the “plant source” used to create rayon, no traits of the original plant are left in the finished product."

Huh. Maybe that's why my tights had been sold off to DSW. The label can't say "eco" enough times! That's apparently now very frowned upon, to the point that companies have been sued for these claims. Did I purchase material evidence?*Please note that the WSJ subscription is a freebie from frequent flier miles. While it is handy to have some business talk in my back pocket at work, to nod knowingly when someone mentions an article, there are times when it feels out-of-character. Gloria Steinem said, "A woman reading Playboy feels a little like a Jew reading a Nazi manual."...which might also feel like an Oberlin grad reading the Wall Street Journal?

2 comments:

Jean Therapy said...

Model is the same. I believe it's processed birchwood.

I knew that rayon came from bamboo but I figured that this "new" bamboo fabric was a better and more environmentally sound fabric than rayon. Thanks for sharing, I had no idea!

james wells said...

Thanks Claire, fascinating information, great links, and a very clever title. This post has it all.

 

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