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Starting a Clothing Business? Things You Need to Know About Clothing Labels

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You enjoy sewing, and have been making clothing for family, friends, and relatives for quite a while. Eventually, they might ask you to do custom work for their friends, and your family is asking you to make clothes for them, too, or you could decide to start selling your custom fashion designs online. Starting a clothing business has certain requirements in regards to clothing labels. It is essential you understand these to avoid problems later with government regulatory agencies.

  1. All domestic clothing manufacturers are required to attach “use and care” labels to finished pieces before they can be sold.
  2. Labels have to be secured permanently to the apparel. Labels should be sewed into the seams of the clothing.
  3. Labels must have clear use and care instructions. You are free to use either text printed instructions, approved symbols, or a mixture of both on your labels.
  4. Labels have to last for the life of the clothing. The printed instructions have to remain legible for the expected life of the garment.
  5. Use and care instructions must be supported with evidence. In other words, if you state your clothing is “dry clean only,” you need to verify that washing and/or drying the garment using normal methods would result in damage to the clothing.
  6. Labels need to be attached where they are easy to find or see. The placement of labels needs to be in a place where consumers can find them easily.

There are exceptions to these requirements, in certain cases. For instance, if someone obtains the materials they want you to use to sew their custom garment, a use and care label is not required. You also do not have to attach a label if you sell your clothing for commercial use, and it is purchased by another business—like employee uniforms sold to a company, but not bought directly by the employees.

Further, your business could qualify for some exemptions. Exemptions are allowed for specific clothing items meeting at least one of the following requirements:

  • Clothing which is meant to be reversible and does not have pockets.
  • Clothing that can be cared for using any method, like hot water wash cycles, high temp drying, ironing, dry cleaning, and so on.
  • Clothing sold at retail for $3 U.S. or less and is completely washable.
  • Specific articles of clothing, such as belts, shoes, hats, suspenders, gloves, handkerchiefs, neckties, and items designed for one-time usage.

Instead of requiring a use and care label on the article of clothing, you instead have to provide a temporary label on the clothing. Acceptable temporary labels are stick-on labels and snap-on tags that are able to be removed by the consumer after they purchase the clothing.

Before starting your custom made clothing business, take the time to review all of the FTC requirements. If you do not understand these, or feel you qualify for other exemptions, it is recommended to consult with a business attorney for further assistance.

To obtain custom clothing labels for your clothing and apparel items, feel free to contact It’s Mine Labels today at 1-866-695-2235. We offer a wide variety of labels for small business owners.

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