Why are clothing tags so important?
These annoying and itchy little patches of fabric are not there just to bother you and make wholes on your brand new t-shirt the day after you buy it. In reality, they are valuable pieces of information, made to communicate all the needs and the history of that article of clothing. Without the clothing tag, there would be no way of knowing where it was produced, the brand of the clothing, what is the content of the fabric, the washing and drying instructions, and information about the manufacturer. Without this, the consumer is left in the dark and would have no knowledge about the piece of clothing they just bought.
If clothing tags didn’t exist, the manufacturers would have no obligation to provide this information. The customer wouldn’t know if the piece of clothing’s quality is proportional to the price or even how to wash and care for it.
It’s important to know who produced your clothes, in which country, if it was made ethically, what is the composition of the fabric, what temperature you wash it, and if they can be in the dryer or if it should be only dry cleaned. Clothing tags are essential to a good shopping experience and give the consumer all the useful information about the private label product they are buying.
The different clothing labels you need to know about
There are a variety of clothing labels that can be included on a piece of clothing. The more tags a piece of clothing has, the more information the customer, the retailers, and the manufacturers have. Some types of labels are:
- Brand Label: contains the name of the brand, the design, and the branding
- Size label: contains the sizes, sometimes for multiple countries
- Care label: how to care for the clothes, washing, and drying suggestions
- Flag label: usually part of the branding, small in size and attached outside, on the side seam
- Manufacturer label: include the manufacturer’s code, making it easy to track where that piece of clothing came from
- Special label: an unusual label pointing out information that the manufacturer wants the customer to have, such as “100% cotton” or “made in Europe” that might increase the value of the clothing
- Batch mark label: a label that indicates the sewing line of the garment
What information is in clothing tags?
According to the European Commission, textiles sold in the EU market should follow the EU clothing regulation and, in general, carry information about the fabric fiber composition and indicate if any part of the clothes comes from animal origin. There is a bundle of essential information that should be included on every tag of clothing produced in the European market, such as:
The tags must indicate the textile composition, in other words, what the fabric is made of, what materials were used, and how much of each material composes the fabric, indicated in percentages, to make the information as clear as possible for the buyers. The information must be clear, legible, in uniform lettering, and not clumped in small letters mixed with other text. Products with just one fiber must indicate the description “100%”, “pure” or “all”, to display the exclusive use of one kind of fabric.
If the product is composed of multiple kinds of fiber mixed together, the label should carry a marking stating how much percentage of each fiber was used in the composition. It’s not mandatory to state the fibers which have less than 30% of the total weight of the clothing, but it is recommended. The composition of the main lining must always be stated.
Country of origin
The country where the clothing was produced is essential information to be included in the label. Not only the country of production must be included, but the identification should be present in the national language of every country this article of clothing will be sold. Some clothes will vary in price depending on the country where it’s being sold, and the necessary inspections and regulations, and even taxes, can vary depending on where the fabric was sourced from.
For the buyers, it’s interesting to know the country of production since some people might have a preference for a specific country or might want to boycott a second one. If the label says “made in China” some people might think the product has bad quality and will not buy it. Still, if the tag points out that the product was produced in their country, locally and ethically, the value that people address to that piece of clothing may increase.
Washing and care instructions
Even though most people may not know (or care) about those confusing symbols that are present in every piece of clothing, pointing out how that clothing should be washed and dried, they are important for the care of your clothes and essential if your goal is to make them last longer and look better. These symbols can be confusing, but here are some guidelines to make your life easier:
- Basin: the washing method and temperature
- Square: drying method
- Iron: ironing method
- Circle: professional cleaning
- Triangle: bleach-related instructions
These instructions should be followed not only by the final consumer of the clothes but also by anyone else who might have to wash and care for them, such as dry cleaning or professional cleaning services, second-hand stores, retail stores, etc. In any case, it’s important to keep the label on the clothes and resist the urge to cut them out, even if they itch.
The tag must include information about the manufacturer, usually an identification code that helps buyers, specifically international buyers, to track down the manufacturer and know more information about the piece of clothing that they are buying or selling. It’s common for garments to be imported from other parts of the world, and it’s important to be able to know where they came from and how it was produced.