Garment Label Requirements

Garment Label Requirements

Garment Label Requirements You Need To Know

What should you write on your garment labels?

Do you even need them?

Some things you can put on the labels just because you feel like it, but some information is required by law. The garment label requirements depend on where you are selling your clothes, but also what type of garments you are selling. Check the specific regulations and specifications for all the countries you intend to sell in or export to. Some countries have very stringent requirements.

 

Before we cover general requirements for the US, UK, and EU, we want to give some tips and heads-up regarding regulations and requirements concerning clothing labels around the world:

  • Be specific with the fiber content. If the content is 80% organic cotton, 16% recycled polyester, and 4% elastane, right exactly that – get this exact information from your fabric supplier.
  • Remember that animal components and non-textile parts, like fur and leather, need to be stated on the care label.
  • Double-check your labels, so they are correctly created. You don’t want your goods to be seized by customs.
  • If you manufacture or import clothing products without the correct and necessary information, your products might be illegal and unsellable.
  • You can use multiple market labels, for example, labels that are OK for both the EU and USA. Include the following: Country of Origin, ASTM Care Labels, Fiber Composition, and English language, plus the major market language that your goods will be sold in.
  • Check and confirm any special substance regulations, for example, REACH in the EU and California Proposition 65 in USA, California. It’s for harmful substances like cadmium, and lead. AZO dyes, for example

 

EU Requirements

Textile labels are mandatory in the EU. This applies to textiles that are intended for sale to the general public. EU has a variety of regulations regarding the labeling of textile products. A textile product is considered a product that contains more than 80% of textile fibers of the entire weight.

The labels must be in the native language where the garments are sold, and the labels must be attached in a secure and durable way. There are no standards in the sizing of labels, you as a brand chose the size you want.

Also, the following info should be included:

  • Fiber content ie. (60% cotton, 40% polyester). Only textiles that are made solely of fiber are allowed the be labeled100%.
  • Non-textile parts like animal-origin materials must be clearly stated, such as leather, fur, etc.
  • Country of origin is not required – check with your specific country though!
  • Washing and Care Instruction is not required but highly recommended.
  • Manufacturer Identification is not required.
  • Use the language of your target markets.

Important note:

EU has very high requirements for the safety of textile products like children’s clothing & nightwear, workwear, and safety products. Check those specifically.

Use uniform fonts, sizes, and styles for all text on the labels.

When it comes to standard sizing, you can take a look at the EN 13402 European standard for size labeling of clothes.

 

UK Requirements

Here are the requirements and regulations for clothing labels in the UK:

An apparel product care label must contain the following:

  • Fiber content ie. (60% cotton, 40% polyester)
  • Country of origin (Made in Vietnam) – Not mandatory but very good to have. 
  • Manufacturer/dealer identity
  • Washing and Care instructions – not mandatory but highly recommend
  • English language

 

US Requirements

Requirements for the United States are quite stringent, and companies that don’t comply with these requirements may end up paying penalties. The labeling requirements only apply when the products are sold to the consumers.  

In the US, the CPB – US Customs and Border Protection and FTC – the Federal Trade Commission are the authorities responsible for the labeling requirements and control.

An apparel product care label must have:

  • Fiber content ie. (60% cotton, 40% polyester)
  • Country of origin (Made in Vietnam)
  • Manufacturer/dealer identity
  • American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Care Labels
  • English language

Extra Notes: 

  • When importing textiles to the US, the FFA must be followed. It’s a regulation for products that are highly flammable. 
  • If you are producing garments for children 12 years and under, you will have to look CPSIA up. It stands for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act and is a set of safety rules for children’s clothing.  
  • Made in USA labeling is a great marketing tool for apparel brands. But in order to use this label, the brand needs to meet specific requirements published by FTC. 
  • If you are importing to California, you might have to lab test your products to pass the Ca Prop 65 tests. Those tests can be done at the following companies: SGS, QIMA, Intertek, TUV, Bureau Veritas.

 

Australia Requirements

Australia’s labeling laws are enforced by ACCC. Australia has different laws, depending on the state your brand operates in, so make sure you check locally.

An apparel product care label in Australia must have:

  • Fiber content ie. (60% cotton, 40% polyester) – Not mandatory in all states, so check locally.
  • Country of origin (Made in Vietnam) – Different requirements depending on if the product is made 100% in Australia, partially made in Australia or imported to Australia.
  • Care Labels and Washing instructions
  • Manufacturer identification – not required but great to have
  • English language

 

Check these links for requirements in Australia regarding country of origin:

https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2014C00486

https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2008C00319/Html/Text#param20

https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2014C00496

 

Multiple Country Labels

Some manufacturers can help you out with the making of care labels, or you can contact a trims supplier that’s specialized. Whatever you chose, there’s no right or wrong, as long as the quality is good and you are happy with the end result and price. 

No matter the supplier choice, you will be the one responsible for deciding the materials, the colors, the fonts, the logo or no logo, and all the content written on the labels, including care labels. You can create files in .ai or .eps or .jpg. 

And what info do they need to have from you to create your labels?

  • Label material – also send pics of reference if you have
  • Dimensions with clear instructions
  • Colors with Pantone reference
  • Print and text positioning on the labels
  • Specific fonts and the actual text
  • General label design

The more detailed your instructions are, the better it is.

 

Care Symbols

Care Symbols – When it comes to the care symbol requirements and what actually to use for your products, there are some main symbols to keep in mind:

  • Washing temperatures and washing type
  • Drying
  • Ironing temperatures
  • Bleaching options
  • Dry cleaning options

There are different symbols in different countries, so check what symbols are to be used in your country and the main target market. 

 

Care symbols are standardized for textile products under ASTM D5489-96c

To help you along the way and make sure you don’t miss anything, here are a couple of questions to ask yourself and to double-check for your specific country and sales markets:

  • What is your main market, and what language should you use?
  • What is the fiber composition?
  • Is the country of origin mandatory?
  • Do you need to use graphics for the care instructions, or can you just write it out?
  • Do you need to include any warning labels or text?
  • Do you need to specify the manufacturer id?
  • Do you need to follow any particular size standards? 
  • What language is necessary?

 

Positioning

Are there any requirements for label positions and attachments?

Not really, but most brands want to clearly show their brand name label, placed on the inside, at the neck, most of the time together with the size label. This makes it easier for the customer to clearly see the size when shopping.

Care labels are placed on the inside of the hue garment, at the side seam, on the left side, or on the inside at the waistband.  

Is it a good idea to include other text or content on labels?

Absolutely! It’s up to each brand to entice the customer and users and to communicate with them in as many creative ways as possible. Small notes like “You look awesome today!” can make the customer feel great when wearing your brand and product. 

Brands have also used labels to make a stand and communicate what the brand stands for. It is entirely up to the brand to include whatever you feel is relevant and helps you communicate your why, vision, and mission to your customers and users.  

 

Links for in-depth information to check out

https://www.aafaglobal.org/AAFA/Solutions_Pages/U.S._Labeling_Resources.aspx – US Labeling Resources

https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/threading-your-way-through-labeling-requirements-under-textile – THREADING YOUR WAY THROUGH THE LABELING REQUIREMENTS UNDER THE TEXTILE AND WOOL ACTS

https://ec.europa.eu/growth/sectors/fashion/textiles-clothing_en – EU

https://ec.europa.eu/environment/ecolabel/index_en.htm – EU Ecolabel

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:02011R1007-20180215 – EU

http://otexa.trade.gov

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joint_European_standard_for_size_labelling_of_clothes

http://www.care-labelling.co.uk

https://www.productsafety.gov.au/standards/care-labelling-for-clothing-textiles

https://www.accc.gov.au

https://www.coats.com/en/Information-Hub/Care-Labels

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