Made in EuropeSlow fashion

Here is what I learnt about reading clothing labels

Here is what I learnt about reading clothing labels
By renoon

Have you ever read the composition labels of the clothing you wear? Turns out it is important to check them as you can learn a lot and get some satisfaction as well. Julia, one of our members, sent us some interesting insights about labels and tags. We loved her perspective and decided to publish it.

Reference: This post is made by Julia Polo (member of Generation Renoon), through content from Renoon Retalks (IGTV) and with the platform Dress The Change.

Julia, one of our members: “I have only recently started reading the composition labels, then I found Renoon’s Instagram live…

Image: Vintage launderette

Let’s start! Here are the basics I’ve learnt so far.

The composition label describes the textile materials our garments are made of. In other words, it indicates which fabrics the brand has used to make the garment (eg. cotton regular denim, viscose and so on) and composition percentage of the material (eg. 100% cotton). The composition label allows us to get an idea of the future life of the garment and the use we will get out of it. Building our wardrobe and choosing the best materials that suit our needs is not obvious at all but it is important, because it allows us to avoid disappointment and frustration during the extended life of the garment.

Your experience is probably similar to mine: you bought a new garment and your first thing you thought to was to cut the labels off because they are annoying and can be itchy. That is really common, right? But why so many labels? Well, because globalised brands have to translate the information in so many languages that the “number” of pages becomes uncomfortable (read: scratchy and obnoxious).

Printing the information directly on the fabric in the inside of a garment could be a solution. But many brands don’t do that. Why? Because brands would then have to send the fabric panel to a supplier, wait until it has been printed and sent back to finish the garments. It would be expensive, both in time and expenditures. It’s much easier for brands to buy printed labels and attach them, that’s why we don’t see the information printed on the inside as much as we would like.

Image for post

The “care label”

The information provided in the “care label” is also extremely important as it guides how to care and clean the garment. Companies usually provide the most basic information because it is easier and faster. You will only find one method of washing and it is usually the harshest way. Most people, and dry cleaners as well, prefer to stick with those indications as it is the “safest way”. However, but most of the time it’s not necessary and there are many others more sustainable ways to wash them.

Is it really “Made in Italy”?

Another important topic to be aware of is the denomination of origin (the “made in …”). Firstly, it is relevant to mention that in Europe it’s not mandatory to disclose where the item has been manufactured. That is because of a law created to avoid discrimination based on where the garments are produced. Secondly, it’s important to know this information is mostly only partially true. For example, when you see “Made in Italy” it means that minimum two stages of the production process (called substantial transformations in technical jargon) had to be done in Italy to obtain the certification, but the other substantial transformations can have been contracted in other places. In fact, brands usually do everything in cheaper-labour countries and only complete the last stages (ex: to assemble the garment and to pack it) in Italy.

Image left to right: Sowing machine, clothing factory

I hope I motivated you to pay more attention to labels in the future! Not only you will more conscious of your purchasing decisions but you’ll also have longer lasting, better quality garments. Now that you have started your journey to conscious consumerism you can find your sustainable options on renoon.com.”

Renoon’s mission is to make sure you can combine your love for fashion and planet by finding sustainable clothing from multiple websites at once. Start searching today or follow our Instagram account to stay tuned.

Launching a new app this winter! Get early access.

Credits to Julia Polo one of our ReAmbassadors for writing and sharing this nice and very insightful perspective.

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