FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister   ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act requirements
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Fashion-Incubator User Forum Forum Index -> CPSIA & Consumer Safety
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
unlimiteddesign
Renewing Member
Renewing Member


Joined: 24 Sep 2007
Posts: 978
Location: CA Los Angeles

PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
This is where ISO certified contractors will help you sleep at night..


In almost 20 years, I haven't met a contractor in Los Angeles that is familiar with ISO certification standards...

The first time I heard of it was when I got my first job in Europe... and with my last employer (Perry Ellis Europe) I was responsible for dealing with ISO compliance auditors, so I'm pretty familiar with the testing requirements and other procedures Cool
_________________
-"Where there is a will, there is a way"-
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Jody
Guest





PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:52 pm    Post subject: What about DEs that sell directly to the consumer? Reply with quote

I plan to sell my kids wear directly to the consumer through a web site. Until I find my sea legs, much of what I make will be from fabric that I have in my stash. Most of it is 100% cotton. I include fiber content labels with all my garmets. So, I'm wondering if I need to be worried about this...

Because my fabrics were obtained at retail fabric stores (JoAnn's, Hancock, never Walmart), can I assume they meet whatever testing requirements exist for fabrics since they are a retail selling to a consumer? I'm a little more worried about buttons than fabric with regard to potential lead content. Again, I buy these retail (usually), so can I expect the retailer to have tested the products they sell?

I know no one can answer questions like this yet...I'm just thinking out loud and trying real hard to believe that this isn't the death nell for my business and others like me who want to sell directly to the consumer. My hope is that the FTC will recognize the huge variety of business models that exist in today's market, particularly for children's apparel and come out with some specific guidance. DEs are redefining apparel manufacturing in America...one size won't fit all manufacturers.
Back to top
mhswope
Renewing Member
Renewing Member


Joined: 22 Feb 2007
Posts: 3637
Location: PA State College

PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is all very interesting. In section 102 it says: "(3) every manufacturer of a product which is subject to a consumer product safety rule..."

Now, I didn't think women's clothing is subject to a consumer product safety rule (am I supposed to be testing?) and I don't do any testing. Am I wrong?

Please tell me I don't have to worry about this!

Marguerite
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Alex R
Guest





PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mhswope wrote:
Now, I didn't think women's clothing is subject to a consumer product safety rule (am I supposed to be testing?) and I don't do any testing. Am I wrong?


Unfortunately so... All clothing has always been subject to the Fabric Flamability Act. If the clothing has any glues, resins, paints, chemical dyes, it may also be subject to the Federal Hazardous Substances Act.

Should you be testing? Well, some fabrics are exempt from testing (see the FFA for a list). Also, your supplier may have already tested the fabric (see my post earlier in this thread). Otherwise......

This new requirement to issue a General Conformity Certificate applies to you, so start getting ready!
Back to top
mhswope
Renewing Member
Renewing Member


Joined: 22 Feb 2007
Posts: 3637
Location: PA State College

PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Alex. I've been reading/researching and I found this article which is easy to read and explains the testing and exempt fabrics. Please use DD (due diligence) as this was published in 2001:

http://www.cpsc.gov/businfo/regsumwearapp.pdf

For women's clothing it seems pretty simple: Flammability requirements haven't changed, but the certificate must also be "present."

This forum is so helpful. I second Kathleen's recent post: where else can you get so much education for free?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Esther
Moderator
Moderator


Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 1917
Location: ID Spudville

PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Because my fabrics were obtained at retail fabric stores (JoAnn's, Hancock, never Walmart), can I assume they meet whatever testing requirements exist for fabrics since they are a retail selling to a consumer?


During this transition I don't think you can assume anything. I think that in regards to children's products you should have the test information in hand as well as in applicable certificates of conformity. While the law says "reasonable" testing, I think the commission and customers (once they know about it) will expect the most rigorous testing possible. Wal-mart is set-up to sell to the end customer and would therefore not be able to provide test data on every product they sell. The onus will be on you to test regardless of where you obtain the material. I buy some things from Wal-mart too and will have to do the testing on my own. Keep in mind Wal-mart sells a lot of remnants and therefore they are not required to test. At least not until now. One has to wonder what they will do to conform with this legislation with all the thousands of products they sell. What a paperwork nightmare.

I intend on calling some testing labs next week and getting some pricing information and recommendations for children's clothing.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Alex R
Guest





PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 9:20 am    Post subject: Re: What about DEs that sell directly to the consumer? Reply with quote

Jody wrote:
Because my fabrics were obtained at retail fabric stores (JoAnn's, Hancock, never Walmart), can I assume they meet whatever testing requirements exist for fabrics since they are a retail selling to a consumer?


Esther is right, assuming is not a good idea... My high school english teacher had a great saying; "If you assume, you make an ASS out of U and ME." I've always taken that to heart.

This also raises an important distinction that needs to be cleared up between testing requirements for children's and general products.

My understanding is this:

For general products, you are permitted to use raw material testing.

For children's products, you must test the finished product.

Can someone who knows more about the children's product side comment on this?
Back to top
Valerie Burner
Guest





PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As an architect, my husband always worried about being sued- in his words, "There is no statute of limitations on manufactured products, and buildings are considered manufactured products." Is there a statute of limitations on clothing products?

How does this affect Suzy Seamstress making bridesmaid's dresses, or Debbie Dressmaker working with plus-size women who can't find clothes in stores? I think it is unreasonable to expect these small business people to conform to such stringent standards- it will most likely put some out of business entirely. IMO it should be the responsibility of the fabric/materials suppliers to provide this testing, as they deal with it in much larger quanities, and are selling the products to be used for specific purposes, i.e., clothing, sleepwear...

Funny that clothing is so well-regulated, and yet chocolate has been found to have high levels of lead, (not to mention companies using unknown vegetable oils in place of cocoa butter) with noone being the wiser, while drugs and food products manufactured in China are not even checked- and people have died as a result... Need I mention babies and pets???
Back to top
Alex R
Guest





PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mhswope wrote:
Thanks, Alex. I've been reading/researching and I found this article which is easy to read and explains the testing and exempt fabrics. Please use DD (due diligence) as this was published in 2001: http://www.cpsc.gov/businfo/regsumwearapp.pdf


An important thing to note regarding fabrics that are exempt from testing. The testing exemption does NOT mean they are exempt from certification. So, even if you have a product that is 100% made from a testing exempt fabric, you must still provide a General Conformity Certificate. So what does this mean? It means you complete the certifcate, and keep two things on file instead of test results: a copy of the FFA section that exempts your fabric from testing, and a copy of your fabric specifications showing that it meets the FFA exemption. This was raised several times at the workshop we attended, many people thought they were exempt from issuing the certification if they were exempt from testing.

mhswope wrote:
For women's clothing it seems pretty simple: Flammability requirements haven't changed, but the certificate must also be "present."


Exactly... on the non-children's side, this is mostly just an annoying new piece of red tape that will force some people to make sure they're doing what they should be doing all along. But my heart goes out to the children's product folks. There are some onerous new regulations coming on top of already stringent policies. Lead and Phthalate levels (and watch out for Bisphenol-A, we just banned that in Canada), third party testing at accredited labs, tracking labels, WOW!


Last edited by Alex R on Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:31 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
Esther
Moderator
Moderator


Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 1917
Location: ID Spudville

PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
How does this affect Suzy Seamstress making bridesmaid's dresses, or Debbie Dressmaker working with plus-size women who can't find clothes in stores?


The wording of the law, as it stands now, applies to anyone who manufacturs, retails, imports, and private labels. It applies to Suzy Seamstress too. I sent off a warning email to Etsy corporate since so few even put in required labeling now. I wonder how this applies to individuals who want to auction off a few items from the garage or a manufacturer who wants to unload excess raw materials. When taken to the extreme interpretation, this Act affects everybody.

Quote:
IMO it should be the responsibility of the fabric/materials suppliers to provide this testing, as they deal with it in much larger quanities,


I think with children's products, you will have to do the full range of testing regardless of what the supplier does. It is the only way to protect yourself. You can say, "Well my supplier gave me these results." The CPSC will say "Not good enough, You should know for yourself."

Quote:
while drugs and food products manufactured in China are not even checked- and people have died as a result... Need I mention babies and pets???


And thus the reason for this law. Unscrupulous manufacturers in China putting lead in paint and other toxic chemicals in other products have resulted in all of us being punished. And even though the toy manufacturers had testing procedures in place, those factories found ways around it. We can argue the whys, wherefores, and ethics about the cause all day. The fact is this bill passed on emotionalism and the political perception of protecting children and NO thought was given to the consequences. I would say that the vast majority of products produced in the US are safe. While new rules on lead paint is certainly warranted, the Act as it stands now is over reaching.

Quote:
For general products, you are permitted to use raw material testing.

For children's products, you must test the finished product.

Can someone who knows more about the children's product side comment on this?


I was involved with the private label testing program with JCP years ago. The required testing at the time cost an average of $1,000 per style. I managed to bring some of the testing in-house to reduce the cost (wash testing, for example). Now that in-house testing would have to be done in a certified testing lab according to the act. We had to submit a completed sample in addition to a yard of fabric and any trims. There are certain tests which cannot be done on a full sample. Flammability testing is done on yardage primarily.

Here is the kicker with that testing program. We could go through all of the testing and get approved for production and things still happened. Fabrics switched at the last minute, sewing defects, etc. JCP is really good about sending out auditors to inspect in-line and end of line prior to shipping. But they didn't do this on every production run. At the time they only had about 4 auditors for the entire country. I wonder what they are doing now?

What I am saying is all of this testing, assuming it's all pre-production, will not reduce the amount of recalls or make things any safer, IMO.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Valerie Burner
Guest





PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:29 am    Post subject: DE's Selling Online Reply with quote

I think Jody had a very good question- and since most of us here are in the category of "Very Small DE", what is our ultimate responsibility in dealing directly to the consumer with small amounts of certain fabrics for "limited edition" pieces?

Alex mentioned that testing was "expensive". Is it worth it to test the fabrics for such a limited number of items from said small amount of fabric?

On a more basic level, with only 30 inspectors nationwide, how will they check out all the little middle-of-nowhere boutiques? I'm thinking of just taking my chances until I sell enough to warrant going through all the testing.
Back to top
Alex R
Guest





PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:07 am    Post subject: Re: DE's Selling Online Reply with quote

Valerie Burner wrote:
I think Jody had a very good question- and since most of us here are in the category of "Very Small DE", what is our ultimate responsibility in dealing directly to the consumer....


This is an interesting point and very important for direct to consumer folks (I'm one of those). The new regulations require that the the General Conformity Certificate accompany all shipments to downstream retailers and distributors. It does not seem to require that the certificate accompany shipments to the end consumer. Since I don't have to send it does this mean I don't have to worry about this? Unfortunately not. The act also says that manufacturers need to furnish the certificate to the CPSC on demand. So, while you wear your "retail hat" you don't have to worry. But when you put on your "manufacturer hat", you need to consider regulatory compliance, and be prepared if a CPSC inspector shows up at your door and asks for a copy of your General Conformity Certificate.

Quote:
...what is our ultimate responsibility [in regards] with small amounts of certain fabrics for "limited edition" pieces?


Under the letter of the law, there is no difference between this, and a t-shirt factory, or a microwave oven assembly line, or a...........

This applies to everyone. But that leads to the next question...

Quote:
Is it worth it to test the fabrics for such a limited number of items from said small amount of fabric?

On a more basic level, with only 30 inspectors nationwide, how will they check out all the little middle-of-nowhere boutiques? I'm thinking of just taking my chances until I sell enough to warrant going through all the testing.


Well, when this was all being passed and discussed, there was serious intent to improve the enforcement side, with big budget increases, and a surge in inspector numbers. That was August. Then came September, October, and Nov 4th. So, what now? We have a new economy and a new administration. We'll have to see what happens.

But ultimately, particularly for small DE direct to consumer folks, it is unlikely that you will be proactively audited by the CPSC to ensure conformance. What you DO have to watch out for is reactive enforcement. If someone is burned while wearing your clothes, you can be certain there will be a knock on the door. And if you don't have proof that your garments meet the FFA standards, you may be in trouble. You might be surprised to learn that the act will hold company directors, officers and agents criminally liable with fines up to $15,000,000 and up to five years in jail. Oops... Criminal actions? Say goodbye to your product liability insurance...

For me, this is a CYA issue. I am going to demand the test results from my suppliers, and keep a certificate on file just in case. Yes, more annoying paperwork. But, no to dangerous liability.

<sigh>
Back to top
Valerie Burner
Guest





PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:32 am    Post subject: Demanding Test Results Reply with quote

Alex,

Do you mean that you will get the test results from the suppliers, rather than having them tested yourself? I would have to charge a fortune for the ten cashmere jackets I am making for a friend's shop if I were to get the fabric tested.

How can we go about finding out if suppliers have done testing, and only purchase from those that test for us? How do we know if they are even aware of it? I know that ignorance of the law is no excuse, but how would any of us have known of this if you and Marnie had not written about it? How does the government inform us dummies of such things- and then enforce it?

I did a home burn test a few months ago on a piece of what I thought was cotton. That flying molten polyester marble that landed on the back of my hand caused third-degree burns. Luckily, it almost "healed itself" like laser surgery! Ironically, the flammability information that I just read stated that poly is considered one of the "safe" fabrics. Ha!
Back to top
Valerie Burner
Guest





PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:47 am    Post subject: FYI- Frequent Fliers Reply with quote

Off the main topic, but considering flammability of fabrics: For those who fly frequently- always wear cotton, wool, or linen. If the plane crashes and burns, those fabrics will self-extinguish. Poly and other man-made fibers will melt and stick. Especially don't wear pantyhose.
Back to top
J C Sprowls



Joined: 25 Mar 2006
Posts: 2004

PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Valerie. The reason this act affects custom clothiers is also because of how the industry is perceived. They are not considered to be service providers, they are considered to be garment manufacturers. IOW: they can't charge for sewing time, they need to charge for the completed garment. Of course, this differs for each state; but, this act is more stringent and at the Federal level, which obviates the State's opinion/perception of the custom clothing sector of the industry.

RE: obtaining test results from suppliers. So few people know they can do this - and, even fewer actually do it. All the same, the results you receive need to be validated by independent testing because you can't have any hiccups in production or risk a claim against your product liability insurance, if you have it.

RE: testing costs. See... you don't pay for test results per garment. It's like Esther said: you send a length of fabric plus all materials to a lab with a completed prototype garment for testing. This is a development cost - a capital expense - just like patternmaking. If you're producing runs of 500 units or more, I don't see this as a significant business problem.

When I worked in uniforms, that particular company had a testing lab in-house. I can't remember all the tests we did; but, we covered about 50% of them because we felt - operationally - they were crucial to our operation (a key differentiator in business parlance). Memory fades. But, I suspect we did not do flammability tests or hazmat tests because we didn't make those types of product. All the same, even though we had a lab, it was audited by the county to ensure the equipment was calibrated and operating within norms. It had expenses associated with it. Back then, it was just the "intake department" where all goods were inspected and tested before they were released to production.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Fashion-Incubator User Forum Forum Index -> CPSIA & Consumer Safety All times are GMT - 6 Hours
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9  Next
Page 3 of 9

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group