Competition Bureau Canada

Competition Bureau Canada

March 11, 2009 13:05 ET

Competition Bureau Calls on Textile Dealers to Accurately Label Textile Articles Derived from Bamboo

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 11, 2009) - The Competition Bureau is taking steps to ensure that textile dealers comply with the Textile Labelling Act (TLA) and its regulations as they apply to fabric labelled "bamboo".

Following an increase in the number of articles claiming to be made from the plant, the Bureau is working with the Retail Council of Canada and the Canadian Apparel Federation to facilitate the compliance process for textile dealers.

Until August 31, 2009, textile dealers will be permitted to sell existing stocks of textile articles that were in production, manufactured, labelled or packaged, in the ordinary course of business, prior to March 11, 2009. After August 31, the Bureau will conduct marketplace surveillance to ensure compliance with the TLA.

The Bureau has published a document entitled: Guidance on Labelling Textile Articles Derived from Bamboo to assist textile dealers with compliance. While many products are labelled "bamboo", this is not an acceptable generic name for a textile fibre unless natural bamboo has been mechanically processed in a manner similar to the process for making flax into linen-like fabrics. Most of the products currently in the market are, in fact, man-made fibre derived from bamboo using a chemical process, which produces a rayon fibre from bamboo pulp.

An increase in claims of textiles being "bamboo", "made from bamboo" or containing "bamboo fibres" has prompted the Competition Bureau to reaffirm its position that, whenever an article is made of man-made rayon fibres derived from bamboo, the generic fibre name must first make reference to "rayon" or the corresponding chemical process outlined in the Textile Labelling and Advertising Regulations and can be followed by the words "from bamboo".

Products made from man-made fibres derived from bamboo are often accompanied by performance representations such as "naturally antibacterial" or "protects you from UV rays, naturally." The Bureau reminds industry participants that performance claims such as these must be supported by proper and adequate testing. For additional information, please see the document "Performance Representations not Based on Adequate and Proper Tests" available on the Bureau's Web site.

Similarly, labels on textile products containing man-made fibres derived from bamboo often make environmental claims such as "eco-friendly," "organically grown," or "biodegradable." The Bureau is reminding industry participants that environmental claims for textiles must meet the requirements outlined in the Bureau's guidelines on Environmental Environmental Claims: A Guide for Industry and Advertisers by June 2009.

The Competition Bureau is an independent agency that contributes to the prosperity of Canadians by protecting and promoting competitive markets and enabling informed consumer choice.

TECHNICAL BACKGROUNDER

Guidance on Labelling Textile Articles Derived from Bamboo

The Bureau is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Competition Act, the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, the Textile Labelling Act and the Precious Metals Marking Act.

Labelling Law

The Textile Labelling Act (TLA) and the Textile Labelling and Advertising Regulations (TLAR) are statutes relating to the labelling, sale, importation and advertising of consumer textile articles. They require textile articles to be labelled accurately in order to help consumers make informed purchasing decisions. The statutes set out specifications for mandatory label information, such as the generic name of each fibre found in an article and the dealer identification.

The TLA and the TLAR also prohibit false or misleading representations. The TLAR specifically prohibits a representation that "detracts from, qualifies or contradicts any representation in the disclosure label."

As part of its mandate to inform industry of the proper application of the TLA and the TLAR, the Competition Bureau wishes to clarify the proper labelling of textile articles derived from bamboo.

Bamboo Labelling

Bamboo is not an acceptable generic name for a textile fibre unless bamboo fibre has been mechanically processed from natural bamboo fibre, similar to the process for making flax into linen-like fabrics.

Paragraph 26 (2)(C) of the TLAR states that: The generic name for a textile fibre that is made from regenerated or precipitated cellulose is "rayon", but where that fibre has been made by:

- the cuprammonium process, "cupro", "cupro rayon", "cuprammonium" or "cuprammonium rayon" may be used as its generic name;

- the viscose process, "viscose" or "viscose rayon" may be used as its generic name;

- a modified viscose process so that it has a high wet modulus, "modal" or "modal rayon" may be used as its generic name; or,

- a solvent extrusion process, where no chemical intermediates are formed, "lyocell" or "lyocell rayon" may be used as its generic name.

The proper generic name will vary depending on which particular cellulose process was used. Where an article is made of man-made rayon fibres derived from bamboo, the generic fibre name must first make reference to either "rayon" or the corresponding process outlined in the TLAR, followed by the words "from bamboo". Examples of acceptable generic names include "rayon", "viscose", "rayon from bamboo" and "viscose from bamboo".

Contact Information

  • For media enquiries:
    External Relations and Public Affairs Branch
    Gabrielle Tasse
    Senior Communications Advisor
    819-953-7734
    or
    For general enquiries:
    Competition Bureau
    Information Centre
    819-997-4282 / Toll free: 1-800-348-5358
    TDD (hearing impaired): 1-800-642-3844