Walmart Sued Over Textile Law Violations
The bedding industry is no stranger to legal turmoil. However, a recent scandal is impacting both customers and retailers alike. As of this month, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating Walmart for falsely labeling certain products as being “made from bamboo” and others as being “eco-friendly.” A top supplier of Egyptian cotton sheets, Pure Parima is passionate about bringing honesty and transparency back to the world of bedding. Keep reading to learn about the current lawsuit affecting Walmart products and find out why what goes into your sheets matters.
Understanding the Walmart FTC Suit
According to the filing, Walmart engaged in practices that violated the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act. The suit, which was filed on April 8th in the District of Columbia, alleges that the multinational corporation was deceptive in labeling products as “made from bamboo” when they should have been labeled as rayon.
Additionally, the FTC called out Walmart for claiming products are eco-friendly when in actuality hazardous chemicals are required to convert the bamboo fibers into a liquid solution.
It’s not the first time that the FTC has issued warnings to the retail giant. According to the suit, Walmart has been engaging in these unlawful practices for at least five years. The suit says that the company ignored its Warning Letter and only stopped the conduct after the FTC sent a request for information.
What the Law Says
The Federal Trade Commission enforces laws on those advertising and selling items containing cotton. Whether companies are providing clothing, furnishings, or household items like sheets and pillowcases, product labels should accurately reflect the content of the fabric according to the Textile Act and Rules. To that end, companies may not label items as 100 percent cotton unless they contain only cotton. Similarly, companies can’t purport to sell 100 percent Egyptian cotton sheets if the bedding actually contains 50 percent Egyptian cotton and 50 percent other fibers.
Photo courtesy of Mattress Junkie
The History of Egyptian Cotton Mislabeling
The suit against Walmart represents the latest in a series of lawsuits targeting bedding retailers who are less than honest with their marketing. Back in 2016, a class action suit accused Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. of selling sheets falsely labeled as being 100 percent Egyptian cotton. According to Plaintiff Anais Elibrahimi, the company’s Damask 500 thread count “100% Egyptian Cotton” sheets actually contained just 6 percent Egyptian cotton. The suit went on to describe BBB’s behavior as “false, deceptive, misleading and a violation of Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (‘FDUPTA’).”
How Cotton Differs from 100% Viscose from Bamboo
Natural cotton grows as a fiber, whereas other plants such as bamboo grow as thick and strong stalks, which cannot be easily turned into finished fabric. The process of bamboo becoming a finished product uses a heavy chemical processing, which actually changes the overall structure, leaving minimal if any traces of original bamboo fibers within the fabric. Thus the FTC does not allow brands to label products as 100% bamboo, rather it must include viscose or rayon alongside it.
How Egyptian Cotton Differs From the Competition
The FTC recognizes that Egyptian cotton is different from other kinds of cotton and cotton blends on the market. While most of the cotton sold in the U.S. comes from Texas, Georgia, and other states, a small percentage is sourced from Egypt’s Nile River Valley. Highly fertile and rich in vitamins and nutrients, the soil in this part of the world produces cotton fibers that are longer and stronger than the competition. The end result is that Egyptian cotton bedding is at once highly durable and incredibly soft to the touch. Customers prefer long-staple Egyptian cotton because it holds up for years and doesn’t fray, pill, rip, or tear.
Additionally, Egyptian cotton wins acclaim due to its breathability. Hot sleepers and allergy sufferers often find that lesser-quality bedding interferes with their ability to get a good night’s rest. However, Egyptian cotton has a texture and weave that lets air pass right through. The end result is that sleepers are less likely to wake up soaked in sweat. As a bonus, Egyptian cotton is highly absorbent, meaning that manufacturers can dye it a wide array of colors that won’t bleed or fade.
Shop the Best Egyptian Cotton Sheets
Known for their luxury Egyptian cotton sheets and pillowcases, Pure Parima takes pride in ensuring every product they sell bears the coveted Cotton Egypt Association Gold Seal of Approval. This label confirms that all Pure Parima bedding items are made from 100 percent pure Egyptian cotton picked by hand in the Nile River Valley. Customers can rest assured that they’re getting what they paid for and feel comfortable knowing exactly where their family members are laying their heads. Shop the sheet selection online or contact us for details.