Since its launch in January this year, 12 major fashion retailers including Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, Monsoon, Primark and Asda have signed up to the UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT) care labelling licence programme, heralding the scheme as a huge success.
UKFT launched the Retailer Partner Programme (RPP) after becoming the UK representative for GINETEX - the international body that owns the trademark of the five basic wash care symbols that are mandatory for apparel throughout the world.
Used on billions of garments each year, these care symbols are a registered trademark protected in over 50 countries. Retailers and brands currently using these symbols in Europe and elsewhere are required to pay a licence fee. The level of the fee varies from country to country, but it can be charged per garment, and can amount to hundreds of thousands of Euros per year.
Aware of the potential cost of licencing these symbols in their export markets, a slew of the UK’s biggest fashion retailers have joined UKFT’s RPP. This allows for unlimited use of the care symbols globally without incurring any further charges.
Any retailer that sells its own brand or label outside the UK can become a member of UKFT’s Retail Partner Programme. Membership costs £2500 per annum and gives retailers the right to use the symbols worldwide. The licence can cover numerous brands under one large corporation; with potentially huge savings for many large UK retailers.
Another attractive draw for retailers has been the invaluable resource offered by UKFT as part of the membership: Access to current labelling graphics and technical specifications, the latest information on changes to the system, as well as guidance on international legislation around garment care and labelling.
New or existing UKFT members, including designers, manufacturers, brands and suppliers of fashion and textiles, can also upgrade to Annual Membership+, which provides the option to use the care symbols.
Further benefits of the Retail Partner Programme include unlimited help and advice on all aspects of garment labelling, including up to date information on the labelling requirements in all countries in the world, help with translations, access to the UKFT restricted substances list, networking opportunities with UKFT’s Core and Associate Membership, involvement in UKFT’s University Outreach, Let’s Make It Here Introductions plus many more.
Introducing access to the care symbols for both its members and retailers, reinforces UKFT’s commitment to continuously develop the services it provides to the fashion and textile industry.
Adam Mansell, Director of Special Projects at the UK Fashion and Textile Association said: “We knew UK retailers could reap huge benefits from licensing garment care symbols quickly and easily through UKFT, and we’ve been completely overwhelmed by the response to the Retailer Partner Programme (RPP) since its launch in January. Care labelling has been an important strategic addition to our offering and we’re thrilled to see in action with some of the UK’s biggest retailers.”