Back in August, we looked at how drycleaners could potentially reduce their risks of clothing damage and a resulting customer lawsuit by ensuring that they are following the care instructions on the label of the clothing item or another personal item. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the general public doesn’t have a good understanding of the care instructions they find on their garments. As a result, they may handle their clothing items in the wrong way, resulting in damage.
The FTC has reportedly found that most people don’t understand what a “dryclean” care label actually means. The FTC rule states that a care label that says “dryclean” means that the garment maker has determined the item can be successfully drycleaned, however it does not mean that drycleaning is the only method of care that will work, or that it is even the recommended method.
A survey of consumers by Harris Interactive of adult consumers, commissioned by the UCLA Sustainable Technology Policy Program, found that only six percent of the respondents correctly understood the meaning of a “dryclean” care label. 44% of the respondents thought that a “dryclean” label means that drycleaning is the only acceptable method for garment care, and half thought that the label means that drycleaning is the recommended method of care, an assumption that could leave customers feeling the drycleaner is responsible for any damage that may occur to their garments.
According to Nora Nealis of the National Cleaners Association, there is a failure to outreach and communicate to the American consumers what all the ramifications and meanings are in the information furnished by the care label of garments. Many professionals and individuals alike feel that the FTC should allow listing wetcleaning as a care method in addition to drycleaning if it’s an option. However opponents of this say that stating two methods of care per garment imposes an unnecessary burden on manufacturers.
At IWA, we understand the unique risks and burdens faced by professional drycleaners. We have experience in niche markets which allows us to enhance the way in which we integrate risk management and insurance solutions into our clients’ business operations. This has been part of our tremendous success with our FabriCare Advantage program. Please contact us today to learn more.