PhotoTextiles supplier Welspun India Ltd. has landed itself in hot water recently. Consumer groups say sheets and towels being passed off as 100% Egyptian cotton are actually made from much cheaper cotton.

Last month, Target severed ties with Welspun over the misrepresentation. Now, two class action lawsuits have been filed against the supplier.

“Consumers who have purchased Welspun bed linens have overpaid for an inferior product,” a plaintiff alleged in the first lawsuit, which was filed by Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP. On Aug 31, a second class action case was filed in a Missouri federal court.

‘Widespread fraud’

Welspun, India’s largest textiles manufacturer, supplies home goods to a number of U.S. retailers including Wal-Mart, Macy’s, and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Wal-Mart recently ousted Welspun sheets from its stores, but Target was the first retailer to completely end its relationship with the supplier. Target is considering filling the void left by Welspun with linens made by Trident Ltd., another Indian textiles supplier.  

Other retailers who stock Welspun home goods have begun to investigate the matter further. Since the fallout, Welspun shares have fallen 2.2% to 56.6 rupees, Bloomberg reports.

In an effort to make amends, Welspun has hired Ernst & Young LLP to audit its supply processes. The supplier says it will also adopt new labeling practices.

What to do

If you purchased Fieldcrest sheets from Target between Aug 2014 and July 2016, you may be entitled to a refund.

Target has begun letting consumers know that they will get a refund on certain products (two lines of Egyptian cotton bedding) under the Fieldcrest label, as they may not be made of Egyptian cotton as stated. To request a refund, consumers can submit a web form.

If you purchased the Better Homes and Gardens brand or Canopy brand 400 thread count damask striped sheet sets and pillowcases marked as "100% Egyptian cotton" from Wal-Mart, you may return them for a refund.

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