Are You a Textile Retailer? Make Sure Your Website is Up to Code!
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released an online guide to help retailers comply with federal labeling requirements for textile, wool and fur products.
As stated by
the FTC, "if you manufacture, import, sell, offer to sell, distribute, or
advertise products covered by the Textile and Wool Acts, you must comply with
the labeling requirements."
The Textile and Wool Acts require that "most textile and wool products have a label listing" which includes the fiber content, the country of origin, and the identity of the manufacturer. Label requirements for fur products are included under a separate statute.
What does this mean for your website?
According to the act, labeling requirements for written advertisements now pertain to internet advertising as well. This means any ad that makes a statement about a fiber, or triggers fiber content disclosure, must include the fabric composition within the ad, in accordance with guidelines set forth by the FTC.
Online catalogs are also subject to similar requirements. "When a textile or wool product is advertised in a catalog...on the Internet, the description must include a clear and conspicuous statement that the item was either "made in U.S.A.," "imported," or "made in U.S.A. and [or] imported." To remain in compliance, catalog information regarding origin must be consistent with the information on the label.
If your retail website and/or online advertisements are not in alignment with the FTC's labeling guidelines, be sure to update both as soon as possible, as failure to comply with FTC guidelines may result in "monetary civil penalties of up to $16,000" per violation.
Each instance of mislabeling under the Textile, Wool, and Fur Acts is considered a separate violation and is penalized accordingly.
For more information about the Federal Trade Commission visit ftc.gov.