Federal Trade Commision Votes On Care-Labeling Rules

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has voted to amend its care-labeling rule for clothing.The
Commission approved an amendment that affects the current reasonable basis standard, clarifying the
evidence needed to substantiate cleaning instructions for a garment. Every garment manufacturer
relies on having a reasonable basis to determine and defend the care instructions placed on each
garment. These changes may affect the way garments are labeled.The FTC also approved an amendment
that updates water temperature definitions to conform to current industry standards. The current
definitions of “hot,” “warm” and “cold” water will be updated. Changes in technology have altered
these definitions and may affect how a reasonable basis for care labels is determined by
manufacturers.The FTC voted not to make a change to the rule that would mandate home-wash
instruction. A proposed amendment suggested that all garments that could technically be washed at
home be labeled for home washing. It was noted, however, that manufacturers must be careful not to
mislead consumers on washing instructions. A manufacturer using a “Dry-clean Only” label must have
a reasonable basis of stating this warning against home washing.

October 2000