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Care labelling for clothing & textiles

T-shirts on hangers
Check Care labelling for clothing & textiles for more information
The mandatory standard for care labelling was initially introduced on 1 March 1980. It was then amended in 1 January 2004 and reviewed in 2009. The latest revision of the mandatory standard came into effect on 1 September 2010. It covers requirements for care labelling for clothing and textiles.

The mandatory standard for textiles labelling covers:

  • clothing
  • household textiles
  • furnishings
  • piece goods made from textiles
  • plastic coated fabrics
  • suede skins
  • leathers
  • furs.

Care labelling provides the public with enough information to:

  • know how to care for clothing and textile products
  • have prior knowledge of costs such as dry cleaning in the ongoing care of clothing and textile products
  • understand how to clean clothing and textile products properly (e.g. cold hand wash only)
  • maximise the useful life of clothing and textile products
  • avoid damage such as dyes running (e.g. wash separately).

On this page:

Mandatory standard

This mandatory standard is based on Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 1957:1998, Textiles—Care labelling.

AS/NZS 1957:1998 is a voluntary standard except for those sections specifically called up into the mandatory standard. To understand the mandatory aspects of the standard, you must consult  Consumer Protection Notice No. 25 of 2010, which covers specific information on care labelling requirements for clothing and textiles.

The mandatory standard came into effect on 1 September 2010.

Does this apply to your business?

Under the ACL supply includes:

  • in relation to goods - (including re-supply) by way of sale, exchange, lease, hire or hire-purchase and
  • in relation to services - provide, grant of confer. 

This mandatory standard applies to anyone in the business of supplying clothing and textiles, including:

  • manufacturers
  • importers
  • distributors
  • retailers
  • hirers.

To allow for staggered implementation, there are some cases where a mandatory standard or ban prescribes different compliance dates for the manufacturing, importing and supply of a product. Manufacturers, importers and distributors should check for this detail in the mandatory standard before embarking on production, importation or distribution of these goods.

Complying with the mandatory standard

For complete information about the mandatory requirements for care labelling for clothing & textiles you must read the:

This information is essential to ensure you and your business comply with the mandatory standard.

Suppliers may also find the Regulation impact statement — Care labelling for clothing and textiles helpful in understanding aspects of the mandatory standard.

The key requirement of this regulation is that there must be adequate care labelling instructions in English attached to clothing, textiles, furnishing and suede skins, leathers and furs. 

Note: Care symbols alone are not sufficient. However, extra information such as care symbols or instructions in other languages may be provided.

Penalties and consequences

Supplying clothing and textiles that do not comply with this mandatory standard can make you liable for heavy fines and recall of non-compliant products. For more details view Penalties and consequences.

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