TCF Labelling Guide
The mandatory standard for clothing and textile products is based on Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 1957:1998, Textiles-Care labelling, as varied by Consumer Protection Notice No. 25 of 2010. The mandatory standard applies to the supply of new clothing and textiles.
Information about care labelling for clothing and textiles can be found on the Product Safety Australia website. Product Safety Australia has also published a Supplier Guide that provides an overview of the mandatory requirements for the care labelling of clothing and textile products.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN LABELLING
Requirements vary depending on whether the TCF product is made wholly or partially in Australia; imported or exported; and is dealt with under the following legislation:
- Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) [refer Volume 3, Schedule 2, Chapter 5, Part 5-3 Country of origin representations]
- Commerce (Trade Descriptions) Act 1905 (Cth) and Commerce (Imports) Regulations 1940 (Cth)
- Customs Act 1901 (Cth)
The ACCC have a guide to assist businesses when making country of origin claims. You can also find more information at:
FIBRE CONTENT LABELLING
There is no national mandatory information standard presently in place for fibre content labelling. There were fibre content labelling laws operating in several states until the end of 2010, however, the majority of these standards lapsed with the advent of the Australian Consumer Law in January 2011. Best practice is to show percentage of each fibre and list them in descending order (highest to lowest).
State regulations are still in force in NSW that require fibre content labelling of textile products. Further information on the NSW regulations can be found at the NSW Office of Fair Trading website.
The draft guide General law - A guide for businesses and legal practitioners states: "The ACL recognises the following mandatory information standard: fibre content labelling of textile products - labels must state the various percentages of fibres, such as wool or cotton, in the textile".
From productsafety.gov.au: "A national mandatory information standard for fibre content labelling may be considered in the future as part of the harmonisation of information standards across Australia. Development of any such mandatory information standard would need to comply with agreed ACL and COAG processes and would involve consultation with stakeholders, including industry and consumers."
Find more information at:
CLOTHING SIZING LABELLING
There are currently no Australian standards in regard to men's and women's clothing sizing. Previous standards in place included:
- AS 1344-1997: Size coding scheme for women's clothing - Underwear, outerwear and foundation garments - withdrawn 2009
- AS 1954-1976: Size designation scheme for men's clothing (including multiple fitting outerwear and industrial wear)- withdrawn 1998
The Australian standard for children's clothing sizing is: AS1182-1997: Size coding scheme for infants' and children's clothing - Underwear and outerwear
For more information about the current status of Australian clothing standards, refer to: Current Status - Australian Clothing Standards - AS1344-1997, AS1954-1976 and AS1182-1980
Further issues about clothing sizing in the global landscape can be found on the Wikipedia page about EN 13402, the European Standard for labelling clothes sizes.
Rating systems and accreditation schemes for energy, water and waste conservation, safe use of chemicals and carbon emission reductions continue to evolve.