Why Care About a Care Label?
5 January 2019
How often do you look at a care label? Amongst 68% of us, the answer is rarely. Labels such as “organic” and “free-range” have become more desirable as more people are increasingly conscious about the adverse effects of food production and consumption. However, even as the fashion industry is projected to exhaust up to 25% of the world’s carbon budget by 2050, producing 15 million tons of textile waste each year in the United States alone, the sustainability of our clothes is still not at the forefront of many people’s mind.
“Make It Feel Right” is about the difference we can make, right now. As consumers, we can choose how we care and select our clothes. We have the incredible power to instill change, and learning how to read care labels is a great first step in our journey towards building a greener planet.
The items on the care label may range according to country or manufacturer, but we can generally find information such as the material composition, country of origin, apparel care, optimal cleaning methods, and construction techniques. By noting the instructions on care labels, not only we can keep the garment look better longer, but can also extend the life cycle of each piece of clothing by 50-80%, reducing textile waste in the process.
What is on the care label?
➀ Item serial number/ RN number
It denotes the manufacturer or importer’s registration number with the Federal Trade Commission. In case any issues arise, consumers may search up this number in the online RN database to attain information regarding the manufacturer.
➁ Material Composition
The fiber type is the most important component on the care label – Natural fabrics like those made of lyocell are a far more sustainable and biodegradable choice than synthetics, helping to avoid polluting the ocean and contaminating our planet.
➂ Country of Origin
Where the item of clothing is produced.
➃ Apparel care instructions
Also known as ‘preservation instructions.’ Following these guidelines can help clothes look better and last longer.
➄ Apparel care Icons
These icons reinforce the instructions labeled above.