Looking to buy products that are safer for people or the environment? Take a closer look at green claims that companies make in their ads. The FTC says Kohl’s and Walmart falsely claimed they were selling bamboo products made with ecofriendly manufacturing processes — and made other false environmental claims.
According to the FTC, since at least 2015, Kohl’s and Walmart sold sheets, towels, and other housewares deceptively advertised as being made from bamboo and good for the environment — but they’re really made with synthetic rayon. To settle the lawsuits, the companies have agreed to end their false advertising. And, because the companies ran false ads after 2010 — when the FTC first warned them about the agency’s actions against retailers for falsely advertising bamboo products — they will pay millions of dollars in civil penalties to resolve the cases filed by the FTC.
Natural bamboo fabric is often rough or scratchy, so it’s rarely used in fabric you touch, like sheets or clothes. If you see “bamboo” sheets advertised as soft and silky, it means the bamboo has been chemically treated and turned into rayon.
By law, a company’s labels and ads for sheets, towels, blankets, and other textiles must tell you the fibers they’re made with, and only those fibers. Want to learn about green marketing claims? Read about common green marketing claims seen on products and packages. If you see a misleading marketing claim, please tell the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.