Eco-Friendly and Organic Clothing for Babies?
“Bamboo” has entered the baby fashion market in recent years as a new fabric alternative, becoming quite popular with environmentally aware parents. Why all the excitement? And how can you get ahead of the trend to supply this coveted material to a hungry baby market?
But before we move forward – we should ask what exactly are “bamboo” clothes?
Accordingly to the US Federal Trade Commission, “bamboo” fabrics available today are mostly rayon, in which wood pulp from the bamboo plant is regenerated using toxic chemicals to extract cellulose from plants, with production often entailing heavy air pollution. As many types of plant can be used in this regeneration process and it is difficult to trace the original plant origin from the final rayon fiber, the fiber supplier is required to issue a certificate of conformity stating that “Rayon produced is from the Bamboo plant” which will then support the “Rayon from Bamboo” fiber labeling.
The FTC has further stated that “there’s also no evidence that rayon made from bamboo retains the antimicrobial properties of the bamboo plant, as some sellers and manufacturers claim.”
So even though cultivation of bamboo involves little or zero use of pesticides and bamboo is highly regarded for its fast-growing life cycle, “bamboo baby clothing” is unlikely to be that good a green choice for consumers
Retailers who are eager to tap into this market should also be aware of proper labeling and sourcing requirements. There were several cases of retailers incurring penalties in US from the FTC last year, with several retail giants being fined over $1 million in total on mislabeled textiles.
From a compliance standpoint, FTC advices that that unless a product is made directly using bamboo fiber, which is referred to as “mechanically processed bamboo”, it must not be labeled bamboo. Scientific tests and laboratory results will be required to prove that your products are made of real bamboo fiber.