Care labels, you know, those itchy pieces of plastic on the inside of your clothing. Is it just me or did those things used to be itchier then they are now? Either way, they are like a nutrition label for clothing and today we’ll discuss why it’s important to look at them.
Some labels contain funny comments, others give you a free course Japanese on the back of them, but they all have to tell you something. Today I’m giving you a little introduction in care labels, so the next time you come across one, you’ll be able to brag to friends about your new knowledge.
Where does my clothing come from?
First, let start with the obvious one; countries. Brands are required to put the country where the last part of production took place on the care label. However, they don’t have to put the country on where the material was dyed or knitted or knitted for example. Pretty weird isn’t it?
"That’s like saying that an avocado was grown in the supermarket."
Your label might say “made in Italy”, but the whole process might have been through 5 other countries.
What is it made of?
Next up are the fabrics: from polyester to linnen, you can find almost anything on your label. Except for wood. Oh, wait … you can even get clothing made from wood these days! Your piece of clothing comes in either 100% fabrics or a mix of different fabrics, which each has their own unique properties.
But Erik, what fabric should I choose? Well, that all depends on what you are looking for. Smooth, strong, warm, cold ... you name it and there’s a fabric that has it! One thing you might want to look at that’s not on the label is the sustainability of the fabric. While no brand is obliged to put their impact on a label, you have the internet at your fingertips! With just a few clicks you’ll learn that polyester, for example, releases tiny pieces of polluting plastic when washed. By comparing some fabrics, you can make a general estimate about the impact of the clothing you want to buy. It’s not perfect, but it’s a good start :).
Handle with care!
Last but not least: the washing instructions. Every fabric behaves differently, so it’s important to have a look at the instructions before you wash it, otherwise your brand new shirt might all of a sudden be better suitable for a kid.
So, Sherlock, I hope that this blog will help you the next time when you walk in a store and wonder what the story is behind that little label and its text. See you next week!