Relabel a clothing supplier’s label with your own label and call it your own! It’s legal and a great way to build your brand.
Question from HBT reader: My partner and I are in the process of starting our own Maternity line. We have checked into many clothing supply companies. If we were to purchase our blank maternity shirts from a major brand and we want our own label on the shirt how are we able to do this with out getting ourselves into any legal issues?
You can buy clothing in bulk and replace the existing label with your own label, commonly called “relabeling.”
The only exception involves garments protected as trade dress. “Trade dress” is a cut, color, or pattern that is identifiable with a particular brand.
If you buy your shirts from a well-known name, you may want to keep the manufacturer’s label and simply add your own label. This has the added benefit of giving your clothing line brand association with the quality already established by the manufacturer.
The Federal Trade Commission makes this statement with regard to replacing another company’s label with your own:
“An importer, distributor, or retailer may want to replace the original label on a textile product with a label showing its company or RN (Registered Identification Number). This is perfectly legal as long as the new label lists the name or RN of the person or company making the change.
NOTE: If you remove a label containing required information, the label you substitute also must contain that required information. Otherwise, you’ve violated the Textile Act.”
So, in order to comply with the Textile and Wools Act, required information includes fiber content, care, and origin country on your label.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brett Krkosska provides how-to advice on small business and home-based work issues. He is the founder of HomeBizTools and the publisher of Straight Talk, a syndicated column that offers a unique perspective on today’s business issues.