Misty Henry
Product Safety and Consulting Services, LLC

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  • October 19, 2017 12:30 PM | Anonymous

    If you are a manufacturer of fabric, you do still have some requirements that need to be met regarding your fabrics, but don’t worry, it is super easy!

    There are only three things that you are required to have and share to your customers:

    1. Country of origin
    2. Fiber Content
    3. Care information

    Country of Origin
    You need to know the Country of Origin of your base fabric. This will determine what you list as the country of origin on your listings.

    Fiber Content
    You need to know the fiber composition of your base fabric. This will determine what you list for fiber content on your listings. Two common issue areas are PUL and Lycra® spandex.

    PUL can be listed multiple ways depending on the laminate process. Notice that the Babyville brand lists 2% Agglutinate, but other companies do not. Ask your printers if they know!

    ‘Lycra®’ is actually a branded form of spandex.  Ask your base fabric supplier or printer if the material is, in fact, made with the branded Lycra®, if it is, then you will state ‘Lycra® Spandex’. If it is not, or you are unsure, only list it as ‘spandex’.  Note that ‘elastane’ is a prevalent term for spandex in Europe.

     

    Care Information
    Your customers need to know how to care for their new precious treasures and you want them to know how to make them last! Include at the very least these 5 points:
    One: Washing by hand or by machine and temp
    Two: Bleaching
    Three: Drying by method and temp (if machine)
    Four: Ironing
    Five: Warnings

    While those 3 things are your only requirements, there are a few additional steps you can take to ensure the success of your business and the happiness of your customers.

    Many customers will be using your materials to sell created items.  Those consumers may need information regarding lead and flammability and you can be prepared to answer those questions.

    What is the printing process?
    This question pops up a lot, but what they are really asking is if the dyes/inks used become part of the substrate, the fibers.

    If the dyes/inks lay on top of the fibers – you know, like the Garanimals t-shirts or the fun graphic tees at Walmart – then they will next ask for lead testing (16 CFR Part 1303 if you want to know the official code) if it is available.  They will need the testing results and not just a statement of passing for use in children’s products.

    If the dyes/inks seep into the substrate (fiber reactive), which is most popular with large scale printing, then the material is exempt from this lead testing .

    Is the material exempt?
    There are two things they are asking for here: lead in textiles and flammability of wearing apparel.

    For lead, if your fiber content contains the following, the material is exempt from needing lead in textiles testing (16 CFR Part 1500):

    cotton, kapok, flax, linen, jute, ramie, hemp, kenaf, bamboo, coir, sisal, silk, wool (sheep), alpaca, llama, goat (mohair, cashmere), rabbit (angora), camel, horse, yak, vicuna, qiviut, guanaco, rayon, azlon, lyocell, acetate, triacetate, rubber, polyester, olefin, nylon, acrylic, modacrylic, aramid, and spandex

    For flammability (16 CFR Part 1610), they need to know the fiber content as well as if it is “raised surfaced” like french terry, flannel, or velour, or if it is “plain surfaced” like woven cotton or tshirt-like knits.  There are two ways to look at this one:

    If the fabric is “raised surfaced”, then look at the fiber content.  If it is made of only the following, then it is exempt from testing:

    acrylic, modaacrylic, nylon, olefin, polyester, and wool

    If the fabric is “plain surfaced”, then it is exempt from testing regardless of the fiber content.

    If you choose to have testing done where needed and would like some assistance creating a proper Certificate of Compliance statement, we're able to create one for you and walk you through how to update in the future.

  • September 25, 2017 12:30 PM | Anonymous

    Hello, Consumer!

    We've worked with creative artisans everywhere and we would like to give you a quick run-down of what “safety compliance” means in the USA.

    Under the regulations of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) & Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), nearly all products, and most notably children’s products, must be tested for various elements to ensure the safety of our consumers (you!). The most common elements of importance include: lead, flammability, and phthalates (including BPA).

    The most important of these for children’s apparel (including cloth diapers, bibs, hats, and scarves) is lead and flammability. Most fabrics in the USA are already tested or compliant for lead levels. Fabrics are generally not tested for flammability as the requirements are not based on the fabric, but the finished product. Each piece of fabric, depending on its final use, is required to have these certifications.

    So what does this mean for purchasing clothing and diapers for children?
    Creative artisans are taking care to respect your family and keep each member as safe as they possibly can. This includes registering their businesses in the federal databases and purchasing materials that are compliant under the CPSC/CPSIA regulations.  They also have taken steps to ensure their product design poses no harm to your family.

    How do I know who is compliant and who is not?
    Just ask! The creative artisans are banding together to show you that they truly care. As such, you should be able to locate a statement on their web-stores. Such statements as “Meets CPSC Safety Requirements” will let you know that their products have been tested by themselves or by a lab as required, or they are registered as a small batch manufacturer and have received a statement from their suppliers that the components have been tested and are safe for use in their products.

    As well, you can easily spot an artisan that is likely to be compliant by their use of labeling. Under the CPSC, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the US Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) agencies, various products are required to have certain information permanently attached to the finished product before it is sent out to you, the consumer.

    Each label should enable you to find the following information:

    • Who the manufacturer is (usually this is a business logo)
    • How to contact the manufacturer (usually a website)
    • Where the manufacturer creates the product (City & State)
    • When the product was finished
    • How to care for the product (for clothing)
    • A unique mark or number so you are able to follow recall instructions should the occasion arise.

    Now for the links:
    CPSC: www.cpsc.gov/
    CPSC: docs.google.com/file/d/0B6Yihz734SkFVjhXOXZ1MF9obnM/edit
    CPSIA: www.cpsc.gov/en/Regulations-Laws–Standards/Statutes/
    FTC: www.ftc.gov/
    USCBP: www.cbp.gov/
    FDA: www.fda.gov/

    Thank you for taking the time to read this. It is the hope of creative artisans that they can encourage you to purchase items that are made ethically and with safety compliance in mind so they can continue to keep your family as safe as possible allowing you to shop with peace of mind.

  • July 14, 2017 12:30 PM | Anonymous

    Compliance, by definition, is following the rules, any rules.

    If you create or import to gift, donate, or sell, you will follow the rules set forth by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

    The CPSC’s regulations include any product that is made for or sold to someone other than yourself.

    The CPSC’s main job is to protect consumers, however, by protecting consumers, they are also protecting your business from unnecessary issues.

    Under the regulations of the CPSC and the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), nearly all consumer products must be tested for various elements to ensure safety. These elements may include lead, flammability, and phthalates (like BPA).

    Under the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), nearly all consumer products require some form of labeling and our advertising must be non-deceptive.

    Essentially, safety compliance breaks down to 5 main steps:

    1. Registration with the CPSC (free)
    2. Purchasing readily compliant materials and/or testing on your own
    3. Tracking components and finished products
    4. Labeling (small cost just like your materials)
    5. Creating your own statement of compliance for the finished products (including any necessary testing)

    Our job is to assist you in this part of the journey as efficiently and effectively as possible so that you can get right back to selling.

    As a business (versus a hobby that donates or gifts), you will incur more regulations, but this is dependent upon the type of business you are, the entity type you’ve chosen, and the city, state, and county you reside.

    In general, business compliance will break down into 4 main steps:

    1. Register at state level to accept and pay state sales taxes
    2. Register at the federal level
    3. Register your business name at city/county level
    4. File federal, state, and city income, sales, & property taxes.

    For more information on the business compliance steps, I highly recommend Christina Coyle at Paradyme Financial Solutions, LLC. She is personally familiar with the creative business and is up to date with all of the current tax law and IRS cases meaning she can get you all of the breaks allowed and reduces your risk of being audited for incorrect filing.

    For making that informed decision on whether an LLC is right for you and your business, Dana Bucy Miller at DM Law, LLC is the go-to expert.  She’ll make sure that the LLC is right for your situation and let you know if it isn’t and when it might be beneficial.

    Finally, there is an issue of your creative genius.  Protecting your intellectual property can be a bit of a battlefield on it’s own.  While I cannot help you this, I cannot recommend enough Dana Bucy Miller for this as well.  She is passionate about creatives and will work with you to make sure your idea is able to be protected and the ways it can be protected ensuring that you invest in true value.

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