A lot of garment businesses get derailed simply because they weren’t able to comply with clothing label requirements. Clothing labeling is usually a minor concern for startup clothing brands because they are often focused on production and quality of their products. They are only caught off-guard once the customs refuse to accept their clothing products. Major garment companies rarely have issues with apparel labeling requirements since they have lawyers to deal with this issue.
This article is perfect for startup clothing brands looking to export their garments to other countries but aren’t educated with clothing label requirements. Each country has their own set of apparel labeling requirements but we will discuss the most common ones imposed out there. There are only slight differences from one country to another but this article will provide you the general gist for clothing label requirements that you should communicate early on to your clothing suppliers.
Identification for Textile Fiber Products
Custom garment labels are always required to be visible and the label must be durable enough to withstand production and distribution process to make sure it remains intact when it reaches the customer. Custom garment labels must contain information such as brand, size and country of origin.
For products which come in a package, the custom garment label must be printed on the package. For garments with a neckline, the label must be found on either the back of the neck or any area within the neckline up to the shoulder seam. Other necessary information such as manufacturer info and fiber content can be printed on the opposite side of the label.
Wool Products Labeling
If your clothing material contains any wool whether it is pure or recycled, then there are specific labeling requirements need to be followed for this type of garment. These garments are still covered by the regular textile fiber product requirements with some added specifications. Here are the additional information the custom garment label must contain:
First, there should be a breakdown in percentages by weight of the fibers used for the garment most especially highlighting the amount of wool used. The materials listed should at least compose 5% of the clothing’s total weight. Second, the total weight in percentage of all the non-fibrous material contained in the clothing or garment. Other details are manufacturer info along with their registered identification number (RN) and the country of origin where the product was manufactured or processed.
Fur Products Labeling
Another material commonly pinpointed for specific clothing label requirements is wool. The use of animal fur whether in clothing or any other products is subject to a guide of compliance requirements due to the availability of fake fur. The need for labeling is important so consumers are not mislead whether they are purchasing authentic or fake fur. Design for manufacturing should never be misleading.
Some of the most common fur apparel labeling requirements include common name of the animal used for the fur material. The manufacturing company is also required to note whether the fur is dyed, bleached or processed for coloring. Additional note whether the fur is authentic, damaged or recycled is also required. Lastly, the country where the fur was acquired should be included in the label.
Not all types of fur need labeling since fur acquired from hunting is exempted from the rule. Purchase of fur from a merchant who is not really into the fur business or manufacturing industry is also safe from fur labeling laws.
However, keep in mind there are endangered species protected by laws which make them illegal for hunting. Acquiring fur out of these endangered animals will indirectly subject you to violation of such animal protection laws.
Then again, penalties for violation of clothing label requirements vary from one country to another. Manufacturing giants such as US and China are much more strict and firm on their clothing label requirements implementation since they are watched closely in the industry. Most custom manufacturing companies working in these countries play it safe and make sure they comply such apparel labeling requirements.
Civil penalties for clothing label requirements could range from $5,000 up to $15,000 depending on the severity of the violation. Other penalties may even be punishable by imprisonment with bail. Some countries may impose less severe penalties but it can always be assured violation of the labeling requirements will cost business money.
The Care Label
The US started to implement an additional labeling rule known as the “Care Labeling Rule” which is an custom care label applied to textile products worn on the body. This custom care label helps consumers with information on how to take care of these products. Garments such as gloves, socks and hats are exempted from this rule.
Usual info found on custom care labels are proper ways to wash the product whether it should be dry cleaned or can be washed in the washing machine. Other info such as ways to avoid discoloration and color bleeds can also be found in custom care labels.
Chart of Labeling Requirements by Country
Here is a summarized chart of textiles and apparel labeling requirement per country to help you vary the international standards of labeling. This chart may not cover all aspects of labeling categories but gives a brief overview of what to expect when it comes to labeling for the listed countries. The official legislation can be found here for the US, here for the EU, here for Canada and here for Australia.
Compliance of clothing label requirements is essential for your wholesale clothing manufacturing business if you really want to push establishing your clothing label. It is not advisable to not consider apparel labeling requirements even if your business is only for short term. You would not want to have a run-in with law enforcers in case you achieve instant success.
Failure to comply clothing label requirements can be a ground for the government to rebuke your permit or disallow you from acquiring a business permit. Proper labeling is an integral part of the clothing and apparel manufacturing process. It is not an option which you can take or not. It needs to be implemented in all clothing and apparel manufacturing businesses to keep things legal and legit.