Below you will find a few common questions regarding wash care label requirements regarding clothes.
When do you need care labels on clothing?
Domestic manufacturers must attach care labels to finished products before they sell them. Importers must ensure that care labels are attached to products before they sell them in the U.S., but care labels don't have to be attached to products when they enter the U.S. In other words, care labels must be on clothing before they are sold.
How do you put care labels on clothing?
- Attach labels so consumers can easily see or find them at the point of sale.
- If packaging gets in the way, place additional care information on the outside of the package or on a hang-tag attached to the product.
- Labels must be attached permanently and securely. Sewn on, heat seal transfer, etc.
- Labels must be legible during the useful life of the product.
A garment with two or more parts that is sold as a unit needs only one care label if the care instructions are the same for all parts. Attach the label to the major piece of the suit. If the suit pieces require different care instructions or — like coordinates — are designed to be sold separately, each item must have its own care label.
What happens if a clothing company does not provide care instructions?
Failing to provide reliable care instructions and warnings for the useful life of an item is a violation of the FTC Act. Violators are subject to enforcement actions and penalties of up to $16,000 for each offense. In enforcement actions, the FTC contends that each mislabeled garment is a violation. Since 1990, the FTC has brought 16 enforcement actions; 15 were resolved by settlements and one was litigated. Penalties have ranged as high as $300,000. Violations are clearly costly.
The above is subject to change. Please consult directly with the Federal Trade Commission for the most current requirements.
Read about Care Labeling Facts for the apparel industry.
Learn about care labeling requirements at the FTC website.