Background

The Federal Trade Commission recently voted to retain the mandatory care labeling requirements for apparel and certain textile piece goods, reversing course on a June 2020 proposal that would have repealed those requirements. The FTC said that it will continue to consider ways to improve these requirements to the benefit of U.S. consumers and businesses.

In July 2020, the FTC proposed to repeal the care labeling rule altogether on the basis that it (1) may not be necessary to ensure that manufacturers provide care instructions, (2) may have failed to keep up with a dynamic marketplace, and (3) may negatively affect the development of new cleaning technologies and care symbol revisions. The agency reversed course after receiving more than 200 comments from the public, with an overwhelming majority of those opposed to the repeal.

In effect since 1971, the care labeling rule requires manufacturers and importers of apparel and certain textile piece goods to attach labels with care instructions to their products, including instructions for dry cleaning or washing, bleaching, drying, and ironing.

For more information on trade-related issues affecting textiles and apparel, please contact attorney Elise Shibles at (415) 490-1403 or via email.

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