Pus​hing Textiles  Forward through technology-



The FTC requires that Bamboo fabric be labeled using its generic fiber name either Viscose or Rayon.  Rayon and Viscose fabrics are considered semi-synthetic and are composed of regenerated cellulose fibers made from the pulp of trees including bamboo. 

Rayon  Viscose are not considered sustainable fabrics due to:

  • High toxicity of the chemicals used in the manufacturing process
  • Air pollution resulting from the manufacturing process
  • Excessive use of water used in the manufacturing process. 
  • Inefficient use of plants 70% of which are wasted during manufacturing process
  • Resulting deforestation
  •  Toxic chemicals make workers ill including hysteria, nerve damages and stroke

In 2022 the FTC fined retailers $5.5 million for the incorrect labeling of bamboo products and for marketing bamboo fabrics' as eco friendly.    Retailers were warned by the FTC in 2010, in writing, about the infractions which included mislabeling Rayon Viscose as Bamboo, prior to being charged. Bamboo is not on the fiber list from the FTC.

While Bamboo grows quickly and with little water, the harsh chemicals and excessive water needed to manufacture bamboo viscose fabrics prevent it from being eco-friendly. 

Common rayon manufacturing processes include:

  • Cuprammonium process - no longer used, uses ammoniacal solutions of copper salts
  • ​Viscose process - most common, uses alkali and carbon disulfide
  • ​Lyocell process - expensive, uses amine oxide which does not produce neurotoxic carbon disulfide.

Carbon disulfide used in the breaking down of raw materials such as bamboo in the rayon viscose manufactuing process is linked to reproductive harm and nervous system damage.  Sodium hydroxide (lye) is also used in the production of rayon viscose and is highly corrosive and could cause chemical burns to workers.  

​More eco-friendly fabrics include:

Dew retted bamboo linen used in natural color, or using non-chlorine bleaches to bleach like hydrogen peroxide or ozone bleaching using ozone gas. This method is labor intensive, slow and expensive.

Bamboo Lyocell is manufactured in a closed system that recycles the chemicals and contains runoff

Tencel uses eucalyptus using FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified sustainably harvested eucalyptus.

​Mechanochemical Bamboo uses enzymes and mechanical processes to break down the bamboo instead of toxic chemicals.