Walmart Lied On This Item's Label, Lawsuit Says
Bamboo woven fabrics are known to be more breathable, soft, durable, and eco-friendly. But for customers who have bought these "naturally" woven sheets from Walmart, they may have been lied to.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently filed lawsuits against Walmart and Kohl's for falsely advertising sheets, towels, pillowcases, and other products, which were labeled as made with bamboo fiber, according to the Wall Street Journal. The products were actually woven with rayon, a synthetic material.
Only products made from bamboo fiber can be labeled as bamboo, the FTC says in the filing. While it can be made from bamboo, the product must be labeled as "rayon made from bamboo." Rayon, unlike natural bamboo, is made with hazardous chemicals, which pollute the air.
Many products that are labeled as having bamboo fibers are not only marketed as being breathable and soft, but environmentally friendly as well. Eco-conscious customers buy bamboo over other synthetic fibers for this reason, which advertises "cleaner solutions" badges on their product pages.
"The Organic Self-Cooling Luxury Bamboo Comforter" was sold on Walmart.com and was marketed as "sustainable." The product featured a description that said the comforter "will appeal to your sense of luxury and your desire to help the planet," according to the lawsuit.
"False environmental claims harm both consumers and honest businesses," said Samuel Levine, director of the FTC's consumer protection bureau in a statement. "Companies that green wash can expect to pay a price."
Both Walmart and Kohl's agreed to pay a civil penalties price, with Walmart settling at $3 million and Kohl's at $2.5 million. The FTC said the penalties were the largest ever paid by retailers related to false advertising of bamboo fibers, although the federal commission has been warning the companies to check their product labels and marketing since 2010, WSJ says.
"We have worked to strengthen our product description programs and expect our suppliers to provide products that comply with all laws, including those around labeling," a Walmart spokesperson told FOX Business in a statement.
Before you head out the door next, check out this one trick that can save you money at Walmart.
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