WASHINGTON — The American Apparel & Footwear Association said final changes to textile labeling rules issued by the Federal Trade Commission will help reduce regulatory burdens on apparel and footwear brands.

The FTC issued final amendments to the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act on Friday. The Act requires that certain textile and apparel products sold in the U.S. carry labels disclosing generic names and the percentages of the weight of fibers in the product, as well as names of  the manufacturer or marketer and the country where the product was processed or manufactured.

“The labels on your clothes and shoes are one of the most important ways brands and retailers communicate with their consumers,” said AAFA Executive Vice President Stephen Lamar. “Today’s announcement by the Federal Trade Commission is an important step in updating the guidelines for textile labeling standards in the United States. These changes, for which AAFA has advocated, will help the U.S. apparel and footwear industry to remain competitive in the global marketplace and reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens.”

Under the FTC rule changes, companies will now not have to disclose a product’s full fiber content on certain hang tags.  In addition, the FTC incorporated an updated international standard list of generic fiber names for manufactured fibers, which will allow U.S. companies to use certain generic fiber names widely used in Europe in their labels.

For example, some U.S. companies use the generic name “spandex” on labels instead of the trademark name Lycra Spandex, according to an AAFA spokesman. In the European Union, companies generally use the generic word “elastane” instead of “spandex.” The new FTC rule will allow U.S. companies to use either “spandex” or “elastane” on their labels, which will help them reduce costs when exporting to the European Union and also harmonizes the labeling process.

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