As a brand or retailer selling or manufacturing fashion products in the U.S. or E.U. markets, it’s crucial to know the different quality and compliance standards that apply to garments, accessories, and jewelry. Failure to comply with these regulations can lead to legal consequences, product recalls, and customer dissatisfaction. Therefore, staying up-to-date with the relevant standards is important to avoid any negative consequences and ensure the successful sale and production of your fashion products.
In this article, we’ll discuss the crucial elements of quality and compliance for fashion products. These include material safety, product labeling, jewelry standards, and quality control procedures. We’ll also elaborate on how third-party quality control partners can assist you in achieving compliance and ensuring quality in the fashion industry.
Material Safety Standards for Fashion Products
Fashion products are designed to come into direct contact with the skin, so they must be safe and free of harmful chemicals or substances. The U.S. and E.U. markets have strict regulations that restrict the use of certain materials in fashion products, such as:
- Azo dyes
In Europe, companies that manufacture clothes and other products are required to follow the REACH regulation. This rule ensures they use safe chemicals within certain limits when coloring, coating, or manufacturing products.
The CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act) is a regulation in the U.S. that enforces strict requirements for product testing and documentation. It covers a wide range of products, including clothes and accessories for kids. To comply with CPSIA, you must ensure that your products don’t contain harmful levels of lead and phthalates. You must also follow safety standards for flammability, sharp edges, small parts, etc. Lastly, it’s important to have your products third-party tested and certified before they hit the market.
Product Labeling Standards for Fashion Products
Fashion products need to have clear and detailed labeling standards. These labels help customers understand what materials the product is made of, how to take care of it, and what safety precautions they should consider. Typically, the label is attached to the product or its packaging and provides information such as:
- Product name
- Brand name
- Country of origin
- Material content
- Care symbols
The U.S. and E.U. markets have different requirements for product labeling standards for fashion products. Some of the common regulations that you need to follow are:
CARE Labeling Rule
These rules require brands and manufacturers to label their textile products with information about the fibers’ composition. The labels must be durable, legible, visible, and accessible to consumers. The names of the fibers used on the labels must follow a standard list provided by the E.U.
Textile Products (Labelling and Fibre Composition) Regulations
The Textile Products (Labelling and Fibre Composition) Regulations are a set of rules in the European Union that mandate brands and manufacturers to provide information about the fiber composition of their textile products through labeling. The labels must be clear, readable, conspicuous, and easily accessible to consumers. The fiber names used on the labels must comply with the harmonized list prescribed by the E.U.
Jewelry Standards for Fashion Products
Jewelry is a fashion accessory that may pose potential hazards to consumers due to its material content or mechanical properties. Jewelry standards ensure that jewelry products are safe and do not contain harmful substances or pose choking or piercing risks. Some of the common jewelry standards that you need to comply with are:
ASTM F2923-14 is a standard specification issued by ASTM International to enhance children’s jewellery’s safety. The standard is designed to reduce the risk of potential hazards associated with children’s jewelry, especially harmful substances like lead, cadmium, and nickel. It also covers different aspects related to the safety of jewelry intended for children, including chemical requirements, mechanical hazards, and flammability.
The EN 1811:2011+A1:2015 standard is a set of guidelines created by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) to test for the presence of nickel in jewelry and other metal products that come into contact with the skin. The standard was created to protect people from allergic reactions caused by nickel exposure. It limits the amount of nickel that can be released weekly, which is 0.5 micrograms per square centimeter.
Quality Control Procedures for Fashion Products
It is crucial to have quality control procedures in place for fashion products to ensure that they meet the minimum acceptable level of quality while complying with relevant standards and regulations. These procedures can be conducted during pre-production, production, and post-production stages. Below are some of typical quality control procedures for fashion products.
Fabric inspection is a crucial process in the fashion industry that is carried out before cutting the fabric into pieces or sewing it into garments. During this process, the fabric is thoroughly checked for any defects such as color variation, stains, holes, snags, or any other issues that may affect the quality of the final product. Different methods can be used, including the four-point, ten-point, or AQL systems.
Once the garments are completed, a final inspection is conducted to ensure they meet the required standards. This process is known as garment inspection. During this process, the finished garments are checked for any defects such as stitching errors, measurement deviations, loose threads, missing buttons, or any other issues that may affect the quality of the final product. Different methods can be used, including AQL, percentage, or traffic light systems.
Testing is also essential to the fashion production process to verify that the products comply with the relevant standards and regulations. Different methods can be used, including physical tests, chemical tests, or performance tests, and different instruments such as colorimeter, spectrophotometer, or tensile tester can be used to carry out these tests.
How Third-Party Quality Control Partners Can Help You
As a brand or retailer of fashion products, ensuring quality and compliance can be challenging, particularly if you are sourcing or manufacturing products from overseas. However, partnering with a reliable third-party quality control provider can help you achieve compliance and ensure quality in the fashion industry. Here are some reasons why you should consider partnering with a third-party quality control provider:
- Expertise: A third-party quality control partner has the expertise and knowledge of your products’ relevant standards and regulations. They can help you understand the requirements and expectations of your target markets and advise you on how to meet them.
- Inspection: A third-party quality control partner can conduct inspections of your products at various stages of the production process. They can help you identify and correct any defects or non-conformities before they become costly problems.
- Testing: A third-party quality control partner can test your products to verify their compliance with the relevant standards and regulations. They can help you ensure that your products do not contain any prohibited materials and meet the required specifications.
- Certification: A third-party quality control partner can provide you with certification for your products to demonstrate their compliance with the relevant standards and regulations. They can help you gain your customers’ and authorities’ trust and confidence.
Conclusion: Ensuring Quality and Compliance for Fashion Products in US and EU
You must adhere to relevant standards and regulations to sell or manufacture fashion products in the U.S. or E.U. markets. Quality control partners provide expertise, inspection, testing, and certification services to ensure compliance and customer satisfaction. Contact us for reliable help in fashion industry compliance.