A label is information which is attached to a product. Labels have many uses. They may identify the product, give information about the product (for example the price or materials), outline instructions for how to care for the product, or tell more about how it was made.
Clear labeling of products is important because it helps your order travel from you to the end customer as efficiently as possible.
Common labels for craft products include those that are:
- Necessary for regulatory requirements in the country of origin or the country of import
- Requested by a buyer
- Affixed to tell a customer more about the product, your group, or who made the product
1. Regulatory Labels
How you label your products will depend on your country’s government and the requirements of the country to which you are shipping your product. Adhering to government regulations is important so a shipment is not delayed in customs. You should understand and follow all regulations pertaining to your order.
Following are some examples of regulations when shipping to the U.S.
Apparel, Bedding, Pillows, Rugs, Textiles: All textiles must be in compliance with the Fibers Identification Act and Care Labeling Regulations (www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/textilejump.shtm). Examples of textiles include but are not limited to apparel, bedding, pillows, rugs, table linens, towels, potholders, etc. A fiber content and care label must be affixed to the item.
Products used with Food: All products that may come in direct contact with food must be in compliance with the U.S. FDA standards. Examples of food-use items include but are not limited to mixing bowls, plates, serving platters, ladles, fruit bowls, silverware, serving pieces, salad sets, etc. All ceramic and metal products must be permanently marked with the manufacturer’s name and country of origin. You must provide a label or insert with information as to whether the item is safe for use in an oven, microwave or dishwasher.
Country of Origin: The U.S. government requires a “Made In (Your Country)” label affixed to all products.
If you have any questions about regulations, ask the buyer for more information or, if you have internet access, learn what you can online.
2. Labels Requested by the Buyer
Your buyer may give you special instructions for labeling in your Purchase Order. The buyer may want labels affixed to each product with the price, care instructions, instructions for assembly or other information. Some buyers may supply pre-printed stickers to label their products.
If there are any questions or concerns about using or attaching labels requested by your buyer, it is important to communicate this clearly. It is better to resolve these in the beginning so you don’t have problems later on.
3. Labels for the End Customer
Many end customers like to know more about their product. Information about the producer, design, the technique, materials, the history of the craft tradition, or the good work your organization is doing can set your product apart and educate customers. This adds interest and value to your product.
You must receive the approval of the buyer before putting these labels on products in their order. Some buyers encourage the addition of a label, others prefer to only have their own label.
If you plan to add a label of your own for the end customer, remember to add the cost to your FOB price.
For more information, please download the Guidelines for Label Placement