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Retailers sign up to global care labels standard

Retailers including Marks & Spencer, John Lewis and Primark have signed up to a new programme that aims to tackle the unpredictable licensing cost of using standard wash care labels worldwide.

The UK Fashion & Textiles Association (UKFT) launched its Retailer Partner Programme in January after becoming the UK representative for the body that owns the trademark for the five wash care symbols, which are mandatory on clothes worldwide.

The symbols are owned by Ginetex and protected in more than 50 countries. To use them, retailers are required to pay the body a licence fee that can amount to hundreds of thousands of euros a year, and varies from one country to the next.

UKFT has tied up with Ginetex and is providing companies including M&S, John Lewis, Monsoon, Primark and Asda with the opportunity to use these care symbols globally without incurring unexpected charges.

Under the Retailer Partner Programme, any retailer that sells its own brand or label outside the UK can pay £2,500 a year for the right to use the symbols worldwide.

The licence can cover numerous brands under one large corporation and, according to UKFT, can deliver “potentially huge savings” for many large UK retailers.

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