FTC AIMS TO UPDATE RULES FOR CARE LABELS ON APPAREL
WASHINGTON — The Federal Trade Commission wants to update its regulations governing the care labels required to be attached to all apparel and is eyeing the possibility of having optional care methods carried on such labels.
The labeling rule, first promulgated in 1971, now requires manufacturers and importers of apparel to specify the preferred method for cleaning an article of clothing. Given that many garments labeled “dry clean only” can also be washed, either by hand or machine, the commission says, it is querying whether labels should state these alternatives.
Part of the commission’s impetus behind its care label review is to help the Environmental Protection Agency reduce the use of perchloroethylene, a solvent used in dry cleaning that damages the environment.
The commission noted that many dry cleaners offer an alternative for traditional dry cleaning in the form of multiprocess wet cleaning, another candidate for possible inclusion on the care label. This method uses heat, steam and natural soaps to clean apparel that would ordinarily be dry cleaned.
The FTC is accepting comments through March 17 on how the care labeling rule should be changed. — Fairchild News Service