Turmoil in Textiletown

Turmoil in Textiletown

There’s trouble in the US home textiles market. Leading retailers and their suppliers have been shaken by a series of supply chain scandals that have brought the veracity of a wide swath of product claims under scrutiny. While these events have created a major headache for leading players, they represent an opportunity for others.

“Bamboo-zling Customers

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a long-running saga of trying to crack down on misleading claims about “bamboo” textiles. Specifically, producers and retailers have propagated claims that textiles made of rayon – an artificial fiber produced by processing cellulose – are made of bamboo and thus offer antimicrobial properties, are environmentally friendly, and are biodegradable.

Rayon, however, is not bamboo, despite the fact that bamboo can be used as a source of cellulose in its production. While bamboo does offer such benefits, rayon made from bamboo does not. As a result, the FTC sent warnings to 78 retailers about false claims regarding “bamboo” products. In December 2015, four leading retailers were forced to pay a combined settlement of $1.3 million when they persisted in making such claims.

Major Cotton Textile Supplier Suffers a Takedown

Unfortunately, the home textile industry’s problems with material claims extend beyond rayon. In August 2016, Target announced it was ending its relationship with Welspun, a leading home textiles manufacturer, after an internal investigation found that the company was producing “Egyptian cotton” sheets with non-Egyptian cotton. Other leading retailers soon followed Target’s lead, and the association that oversees use of the “Egyptian cotton” label declared 90% of goods claiming to be made from Egyptian cotton aren’t.

Textile Suppliers Can Benefit from Supply Chain Transparency

While these scandals have been embarrassing for both leading retailers and manufacturers, they’ve created an opportunity for some smaller participants in the bed and bath furnishings market. In particular, direct sellers like Boll & Branch and Authenticity 50 (the latter of which built its entire brand around supply chain transparency) are well positioned to capitalize on the embarrassment of their larger rivals.

Want to Learn More?

Don’t worry, we have you covered! For additional information and analysis of US market trends, see Bed & Bath Furnishings: United States, a report published by the Freedonia Focus Reports division of The Freedonia Group. The report also includes numbers and analysis covering US bed and bath furnishing demand and shipments by product for 2006-2016 with projections to 2021. Product segments include:

  • sheets and pillowcases
  • pillows and cushions
  • bedspreads, blankets, and comforters
  • towels and washcloths.

While you’re there, check out some of our related reports, which include E-Commerce: United States, Household Furniture: United States, and Sleep Products: United States.

About the Author

Steven Richmond is a Market Research Analyst for Freedonia Focus Reports. He holds a dual degree in economics and international affairs, with experience as an analyst covering multiple industries.