Care instructions, whether beautifully embroidered on woven labels or printed onto a polyester style one, are found in all clothing garments in the UK and, in fact in the EU. These labels not only carry through the brand identity of the product but help the consumers keep their garment as close to new as possible.
But, are these care labels for garments a legal requirement? Something you should know if you are about to start a business in the fashion or textile industry.
For such a small label, there are four areas of information that are required to be displayed:
Mandatory for care labels in the UK, the fibre content of textiles must include information on the main fibre types used along with the percentages. The information must be easily understandable to the consumer, eg 80% wool, 20% cotton.
Country of Origin
It is only necessary to have a country of origin garment label if the origin could be misread by the consumer. A good example would be if the item displayed a Welsh Flag yet it was manufactured in China. In this case, the garment would be required to display a custom clothing tags to that effect. It is illegal to fraudulently label the origin of a garment.
The care symbols on the labels give not only the consumers but also retailers instructions on the best way to wash and dry clothes. Following theses custom fabric labels will help to keep garments in their best possible shape and condition, which reduces the number of customer complaints and product returns. Although these labels are not mandatory in the UK they are very strongly encouraged.
The care symbols required to be used are covered by a Trademark and there is a fee to use them in Europe.
In the UK, the guidelines for flammability are governed by British Standard 5722. Nightwear, children’s nightwear and baby garments must contain a permanent label showing whether or not they meet the requirement of the Flammability Standard.
So, the answer to the question “are Care labels a legal requirement?” is, in general, yes. However, the extent of the requirement varies across the four areas of information and the countries in which the garments are being sold. So, do your research before you do your trading.