Labeling requirements come from a variety of agencies:
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
- US Customs & Border Protection (CBP)
- Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
- Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
- And more depending on the product!
Types of Label Information
For most things, the basics will be country of origin ('Made in USA', 'Made in USA of imported materials'), identity of manufacturer or domestic importer (business name usually), and fiber content.
Care information is required for all clothing items. This should include:
- How to wash such as by hand, spot clean only, machine wash on a specific temperature, etc.
- Bleach warnings such as chlorine only, or no bleach, etc.
- How to dry such as hanging, block drying, machine on a specific temperature, etc.
- Iron warnings such as no iron, low iron, etc.
- And other warnings like 'wash with like colors', 'close zipper', 'remove solids'
Tracking information is required for all children's products (persons 12y and under). This will include:
- Identity of manufacturer or private labeler (business name, logo with name)
- Location of manufacturer (city* and country)
- Date of manufacture (month and year is sufficient)
- Batch or other unique code to assist in identifying each unique product
- Other information to ascertain the specific source of the product
Location of Manufacture
*The CPSC permits the city of manufacture to be coded within the batch code so if you are the only one making your products, there is no need to have city identify.
The purpose of this requirement is to narrow the scope of where the safety issue may occurred.
Country of origin must be placed at a back-center of a product that has a neck or waist and must not be obscured by any other label or material. Additionally, it is important to be truthful and transparent. If your product is put together in the US, using US-printed fabric, milled in India, you would label with 'Made in USA of material from India' or 'Made in USA of imported materials'.
If your product is put together in the US using US-milled fabric, then you may simply state 'Made in USA'.
You may also clarify the steps such as 'Designed in USA, Made in China' or 'Made in Indonesia, Embellished in USA'.
Method of Attachment
All must be permanent in the US except for fiber content which may be 'secure'.
- Permanent means that the label can last the useful life of the product (so through washes).
- Secure means that the label must last until the final consumer receives it (so, through shipping or being in a brick & mortar shop).
Links to Agency Resources
- Federal Trade Commission: What requires labeling of fiber content?, Clothing care information
- Customers & Border Protection: Country of origin markings
- Consumer Product Safety Commission: Tracking Label