From my mail:
I had a question regarding relabeing. I was wondering if it is legal to buy clothing that some other company designed wholesale, change the clothing-(add or take away from the apparel) and relabel the piece with your own labels.
I was just curious about the legal aspects of it. Cause I buy wholesale clothes, but sometimes I don’t like the way it looks. I’ll add a ribbon or change the buttons. Is it legal to relabel the apparel with your own labels when you have purchased it wholesale through a different company?
Yes, it is legal within given parameters. However, there are strict guidelines governing the practice. You should probably review Threading Your Way Through the Labeling Requirements Under the Textile and Wool Acts (listed in the left side bar as RN & Labeling Requirements).
The regulations require that you include the following information on your labels:
1. The fiber content and the fabric’s country of origin
2. The country of origin (where the item was manufactured)
3. The name or business responsible for marketing or handling the item.
If you will be relabeling the items, you have additional responsibilities. First, you must leave the fiber content, its country of origin and the country of manufacturing origin as you got it. Even if you are restyling the garment -many tee shirt producers fall in this category- you cannot change the country of manufacture to reflect your location. This cannot change. If you change either of these two elements, you would be guilty of violating the Textile Act.
What you can change is the RN number and/or the business name responsible for it -namely you. However, if you remove any label containing required information, you must keep records on file for 3 years showing from which company the product came.
Another thing. If you are relabeling, you are required to comply with the same regulations as was the original manufacturer. For example, the country of origin must be prominently displayed on the front of the label. The fiber content and your name may appear on the back of the label; these are not required to be on the front. If you’re placing some of the required information on the back of the label, the label can only be attached on one side so that the consumer can read the back of it easily.
You may consider reading this handy guide: Writing a Care Label: How to Comply with the Care Labeling Rule (from the FTC manual for business). Another source you may find useful is Writing Labels for Textile Products.
Lastly, no one is required to get an RN number but I recommend it. It doesn’t cost anything. You can file an application here.