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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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School set - the Trade Inspection Authority control

< previous | next > 30.08.2021

School set - the Trade Inspection Authority control
  • Shoes, clothes, school bags and backpacks - how are they labelled? Are they free of hazardous substances? What is their quality? We've checked.
  • Good information: products for children and teenagers did not contain hazardous substances.
  • However, many of them turned out to be labelled in an incorrect way and the composition was different from the declared one.

The new school year is about to begin. This is the last moment to complete the school set. Under the programme #UOKiKtestuje, the Office has informed about the results of the assessment of 10 school bags. This time, products such as T-shirts, shorts, sweatpants, school bags, backpacks, and shoes were examined by the Trade Inspection Authority. The inspectors have checked how the products were labelled and what substances they contain.

Labelling and quality of clothes

The Inspectors have checked 83 stores, 8 wholesalers and 14 manufacturers, importers or distributors. They have examined 685 lots of clothing for school-age children - such as T-shirts, shorts, tracksuits, sweatshirts, sports pants and fleece. They have challenged 97 lots, that is 14% of inspected products.

In 12% of the cases (81 lots out of 684 checked), the products were labelled in an incorrect way. The most common mistake was incorrect naming of material, inconsistent with the regulations - for example, "cotton" instead of "bawe³na" and "polyester" instead of "poliester". In several cases, there was no information about the composition at all, the information was misleading, e.g. written in the wrong order (according to the regulations, it should be listed in descending order) or there were differences in composition presented on the insert and on the label. The details of the manufacturer, such as name and address, were also missing. Many entrepreneurs have started correcting their labelling irregularities already during the inspection.

What was the quality of the clothes? The quality was assessed by employees of the UOKiK laboratory in £ód¼, who examined 40 lots of clothes and challenged 40% of them due to differences between the actual composition and the composition declared by the manufacturers. For example, boys' sweatpants were supposed to contain 85% of cotton and 15% of polyester, while it turned out that they actually contained 63.4% of cotton and 36.6% of polyester.

Consumer, please remember:

  • Clothes must have inserts or labels with information from the manufacturer about material composition and the information must be in Polish.
  • There are no uniformly established sizes of clothes, each manufacturer may use their own clothing sizes. Try clothes on before buying.  Remember - the possibility of returning clothes in a stationary shop, which, for example, are too small or too large, depends solely only on the goodwill of the seller. However, you can return any product purchased online without giving a reason. You have 14 days from receiving the product to do so.
  • Follow the directions about how to care for clothes. The manufacturer is not required to provide such information but it is good practice.

Banned chemicals in clothing

In the laboratory of UOKiK in £ód¼, we have checked whether there were chemical substances in children's products, that could appear only in a very small quantity.  The inspection included: clothing, footwear, bags and backpacks for children. The employees at the laboratory checked the concentration of formaldehyde, cadmium, lead, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The inspection covered 79 entities - 75 stores and two manufacturers, one wholesaler and one importer.

The laboratory tested 90 lots of baby products, none of which was challenged.

CMR substances - cadmium, lead, formaldehyde and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons - did you know?

  • They are present in clothing, other textiles and footwear, either as impurities as a result of the manufacturing process or because they have been deliberately added to give the products specific properties.
  • In high concentrations, they are hazardous to health.
  • They can cause (depending on the type of substance) allergies, skin irritation, respiratory problems, cancer or fertility problems.
  • Consumers are potentially exposed to CMR substances through skin contact or by inhaling the substances.
  • More than 200 different chemicals are classified as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

Should you have any objections with regards to the labelling or quality of the product, please inform the appropriate local office of the Trade Inspection Authority or the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection. Your information may constitute the basis for an inspection The UOKiK also checks the content of chemicals in products on regular basis.

Please download the reports on quality control and labelling of textile products and chemical content. Please get familiar with the list of inspected entities (quality and labelling control, chemical content control) – in Polish.

Consumer assistance:

Phone: 801 440 220 or 22 290 89 16 – consumer hotline
E-mail: [SCODE]cG9yYWR5QGRsYWtvbnN1bWVudG93LnBs[ECODE]
Consumer Ombudsmen – in your town or county
Trading Standards Inspection – in your province

Additional information for the media:

UOKiK Press Office
Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warszawa, Poland
Phone +48 695 902 088, +48 22 55 60 246
E-mail: [SCODE]Yml1cm9wcmFzb3dlQHVva2lrLmdvdi5wbA==[ECODE]
Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL

Attached files

 

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