Momiko Organics

Monday, August 31, 2009

It's the Feds!

Today I've been focusing on number 5 of this week's to-do list: federal laws to consider relating to children's apparel. The first is the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. We'll call it the CPSIA. The purpose of it is to help identify the source of production for children's goods in order to improve their safety. Apparently, there have been problems locating children's products that have been recalled for safety reasons. This act is meant to help with that.

So this law applies to children's products made on or after August 14, 2009. It applies to anyone who manufactures such products - including makers of handcrafted goods and clothing made primarily for children under the age of 12. That means that we at Happy Banyan must meet the requirements of this law.

What I've learned so far is that the law requires a "tracking label" for children's products. This tracking label must include, at a minimum:

1. information on the location of production (country, city, and state); and,

2. the date of production.

There are other parts of the law such as product testing that do not appear to apply to children's clothing, so we are not going to talk about them here.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has a very helpful FAQ section on their website. Here is a link: http://www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/faq/103faq.html#103q8.

They also have a Guide for Small Businesses, Resellers, and Handcrafters that is very useful. Here is a link: http://www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/smbus/cpsiasbguide.pdf.

You can sign up for email alerts about information on this law from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission by going here: http://www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/cpsia.html.

In addition to the new labeling requirements of the CPSIA, it appears there are some general label requirements under the federal Textile and Wools Act. Under this Act, the label must disclose fiber content and country of origin.

Here is a helpful publication on the Textiles and Wools Act from the Federal Trade Commission: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/business/textile/bus21.shtm#covered.

All in all, I'm very glad I read all this before I ordered fabric labels for my Etsy grand opening! Now, I just need to figure what else, if anything, federal laws require for handcrafters of children's clothing.

Chime in if you have anything to add on this topic, and if you have pictures or examples of the fabric labels that you'll be using because of the CPSIA, please share!

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