Canada’s Competition Bureau targeting bamboo fabrics

The Competition Bureau recently announced that it is taking steps to ensure that bamboo fabrics are labelled and marketed in accordance with Canadian laws.

Under Canada’s Textile Labelling Act (“TLA”) and associated regulations, “bamboo” is not an acceptable generic name for a textile fibre unless the fibre consists of natural bamboo that has been mechanically processed in a manner similar to the process for making flax into linen-like fabrics.  This means that rayon or viscose fabrics produced from bamboo cannot be identified as “bamboo”.  However, respectively identifying rayon and viscose fabrics derived from bamboo as “rayon from bamboo” and “viscoe from bamboo” is acceptable.

Textile dealers have until August 31, 2009 to sell existing stocks of bamboo-derived fabric articles whose labeling does not comply with the TLA and that were produced, manufactured, labelled or packaged, in the ordinary course of business prior, to March 11, 2009.

In the same advisory, the Bureau observed that products made from bamboo-derived fibres often make performance and environmental claims relating to antibacterial qualities, UV protection, eco-friendliness, and the bamboo fibre’s organic cultivation and biodegradability.  The Bureau’s advisory reminds industry participants that performance claims must be supported by proper and adequate testing.  Likewise, environmental claims must meet the Bureau’s   environmental claims guidelines effective June 2009.

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