01.Freedom eco-wood renamed
CHOICE scored a victory in the war against shonky environmental claims, with furniture chain Freedom deciding to rename its Eco-Wood and Eco shutter products.
Following a member tip-off, CHOICE contacted Freedom for more information about their Eco-Wood range of readymade blinds, which as it turns out were not made of wood at all, nor did it seem have any environmentally sustainable qualities.
The product label described Eco Shutter as a “durable ‘faux’ material”, while the Eco-Wood packaging said that it “looks and feels like real wood”, and was “made from fire retardant materials”. These materials were identified as “Sawdust PVC and Stabiliser”. We’re not talking about the type of sawdust that comes from a tree here.
Freedom responded, saying that “having reviewed the products in this Eco Wood range, we can see a possible unintended interpretation by a customer, and we are now in the process of updating and replacing those labels and promotional materials where necessary.”
CHOICE saw the outcomes of that process on a recent visit to a Freedom store, where we found that Eco-Wood products had been relabeled ‘Economy Blind’ and ‘Economy Shutter Blind’. The packaging also read “formerly known as Eco-Wood”, saying:
“Our blinds have had a name change. But they’re still the same blinds… These blinds are made from synthetic materials.”
Freedom were quick to respond to CHOICE’s query, providing this less-than-fantastic plastic with a more accurate name. But that does not change the fact Eco-Wood products were on sale for several years, so CHOICE has forwarded the issue to the ACCC for follow-up.