Women's Clothing Importer Agrees To Settle FTC Charges of Improper Care Labeling

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Tanzara International, Inc., a New York-based importer of women's sportswear, has agreed to pay a $10,000 civil penalty to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it put improper care labels on certain of its rayon garments. As a result, the care procedure that was recommended on the care label resulted in significant shrinkage, the FTC alleged. Tanzara also agreed under the settlement to provide proper care instructions on its label in the future, in compliance with the FTC's Care Labeling Rule. This is the first case the FTC has brought involving care labels that inappropriately advised washing the garment rather than dry cleaning.

Tanzara sold its clothing items to retailers under the brand names Tanzara International, Mix Max and Paris Sports Club.

The Care Labeling Rule requires manufacturers and importers of textile wearing apparel to attach care labels on these items. The labels must state "what regular care is needed for the ordinary use of the product." The rule also requires that the manufacturer or importer possess, prior to sale, a reasonable basis for the care instructions.

The FTC charged Tanzara with failing to state on the care label a "regular care procedure" needed for the ordinary use of the product. In addition, the FTC charged Tanzara with failing to possess, prior to sale, a reasonable basis for all care information disclosed to the purchasers on the care label in violation of the Care Labeling Rule.

The proposed consent decree to settle these charges, which requires the court's approval to become binding, would require Tanzara to make the $10,000 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 court was 5-0. The complaint and consent decree were filed on August 6, 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 complaint, proposed consent decree and a free consumer brochure, 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 FTC news as it is announced, call the FTC's NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710. FTC news releases and other materials also are available on the Internet at the FTC's World Wide Web Site at: http://www.ftc.gov

(Civil Action No. 96-5935 (Judge Motley))

(FTC File No. 962-3057)

Contact Information

Media Contact:
Brenda A. Mack
Office of Public Affairs
Staff Contact:
Constance Vecellio or Laura Koss
Bureau of Consumer Protection
202-326-3266 or 202-326-2890