EPC Labels for the Fashion Industry - Terms of Interest to the Fashion Industry

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An EPC label is much like a bar code.  It contains information about a product and assigns a unique number to each item, allowing retailers to distinguish one item from another.

EPC labels used in retail are passive, which means they don’t emit any signal on their own. The labels contain nothing more than a unique number to identify the merchandise.  Retailers can use special readers that prompt the label to send its electronic product code back to the reader.  Most importantly, clothing companies don’t actually have to see the labels in order to read them as we have to do with bar codes.  This means companies can count thousands of items in seconds and know which products are out of stock.

Clothing retailers can use an EPC to help improve their inventory tracking.  It helps make sure the right products are on the shelves when the consumer need them.  The EPC technology gives clothing stores an accurate count of what is in stock in a matter of seconds.  In an apparel department, companies can use EPC identification to help ensure that they have the right styles, sizes, and colors on store shelves when consumers want them.

By helping stores manage their inventory more efficiently, EPC technology helps apparel retailers lower expenses for themselves which can potentially be passed along as savings for customers. 

EPC is the next generation of bar codes and works through the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) – a technology that has been around since the 1940s. If you have a remote keyless entry device for your car or a E-Z Pass, you are actually already using RFID technology.

The EPC label is typically part of the product packaging or on the price tag. It's easy to find products that use this technology.  Just look for the EPC symbol.

EPC label logo

To learn more about EPC labels, you can visit EPCglobal.  EPCglobal® is leading the development of industry-driven standards for the Electronic Product Code™ (EPC) to support the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) in today's fast-moving, information rich, trading networks. 


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