New York City-based women’s clothing manufacturer, Double Z Manufacturing, Inc., has agreed to pay a $50,000 civil penalty to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it put faulty care labeling in several styles of formal and party dresses. As a result, the decorative trim on the dresses was damaged, or the garments were otherwise damaged, when consumers had them dry-cleaned according to the labels, the FTC said. Double Z also has agreed under the settlement to properly label its garments with care instructions in the future, in compliance with the FTC’s Care Labeling Rule. This is the fourth case the FTC has brought in recent years to enforce the rule.
Double Z manufactures women’s, preteen, and teenage dresses under the brand names Zum Zum Fashions, Zum Zum Kidz, and Niki Originals.
The Care Labeling Rule is designed to give consumers and professional cleaners reliable information about how garments should be cleaned, and requires that garment manufacturers have a reasonable basis for the care instructions they include on the labels of their products. That means manufacturers must have evidence that the instructions will not result in damage to the garments. Care labels that specify dry cleaning must warn against any part of the normal dry cleaning process that might harm the product -- for instance, they may need to warn against use of a particular solvent or specify “low heat” or “no steam,” if that is necessary to protect the garment.
The FTC charged that Double Z’s improper care labels resulted in damage to sequins or beads, the nap of velvet fabric, or other damage to its garments, and that the company failed to have a reasonable basis for the labels it included. The rule provides for civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation.
The proposed consent decree to settle these charges, which requires the court’s approval to become binding, would require Double Z to make the $50,000 civil penalty payment within five days and to comply with all aspects of the FTC’s Care Labeling Rule in the future.
The Commission vote to approve this settlement for filing in federal district court was 5-0.
It was filed March 25, 1996 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, in New York City, on the FTC’s behalf by the Department of Justice.
NOTE: This consent decree is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by the defendant of a law violation. Consent decrees have the force of law when signed by the judge.
Copies of the complaint, proposed consent decree and a free consumer publication, Care Labels, Facts for Consumers, are available from the FTC’s Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580: 202-326- 2222; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it happens, call the FTC’s NewsPhone at 202-326-2710. FTC news releases and other documents also are available on the Internet at the FTC’s World Wide Web Site at http://www.ftc.gov
(FTC File No. 952 3152)
(Civil Action No. 96-CIV-2143(KW))