The need for care label symbols as
an alternative to written
instructions results from increased
international trade and, more
specifically, from the North
American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA
NAFTA requires standardization of
care instructions for apparel sold
in Mexico, Canada, and the United
Manufacturers can prepare
labels written in three languages:
English, French, and Spanish, or use
more universal care symbols.
care symbols will help
Using care symbols should help limit
size of care labels in garments.
Smaller care labels result in
manufacturing cost savings.
Care symbols will help international
travelers better understand care labels
in foreign countries
intent is that the new symbols
will become standard in all countries
participating in the North American Free
Trade Agreement. This means that apparel
manufacturers will now be able to use
label on garments offered for
sale in any or all of these countries.
And consumers will be able to make
purchase decisions based upon care
requirements, and follow appropriate
care instructions, without knowledge of
to care label symbols will
hopefully help satisfy consumer
the apparel industry to decrease
the size of care labels.
In addition to the fact that larger
labels are very uncomfortable, moving to
smaller labels may ultimately result in
lower cost garments. This also will
help the consumer. Using symbols
instead of words is a simple method
for saving both space and money.
Although NAFTA care symbols does not
create an international solution, it
certainly does help the countries
involved in this agreement. Hopefully,
in the future their will be a global
standard for care labeling.
governments, and associations must come
together to create an international
labeling standard for apparel and