Who created the labelling system? The origins of the care symbols (also) lie within Switzerland.
GINETEX Switzerland originated from a predecessor organisation referred to as "SARTEX". Back then, 19 associations from the textile and clothing industry, chemicals industry (colour chemistry), detergent industry and textile retailer sector joined forces.
The Swiss association for textile care labelling (Schweizerische Arbeitsgemeinschaft für das Textilpflegezeichen) – or “SARTEX” for short – created the foundations for international care labelling. Since then, the textile industry has undergone a number of innovative advances. The events that led to care labels occurred in parallel to these and the labelling system meanwhile became established as an international standard.
A textile care symbol is a pictogram for designating the way that the respective manufacturer recommends that users care for the particular item in terms of washing, bleaching, drying, ironing and professional cleaning. They are usually attached in the form of a label sewn onto an item of clothing in order to make it easier for consumers to care for their textiles.
Duties and responsibilities of GINETEX Switzerland
GINETEX Switzerland provides Swiss manufacturers, producers and sales personnel with an international, trademark-protected system for labelling textiles. The system informs consumers and producers about the appropriate way to care for textiles as well as the raw textile materials used.
GINETEX is primarily concerned with making companies within the textile and clothing industry as well as the entire textile chain aware of the importance of a correct and comprehensible material and care labelling system as well as implementing this system.
Clear labelling achieves qualitative added value from which customers, the trade sector and manufacturers benefit.
GINETEX Switzerland works together with bodies concerned with labelling at both a national and international level and aims to harmonise textile labelling around the world.
GINETEX – the international care labelling organisation and the trademark owner of care symbols – has its registered office in Paris and is a non-profit body. 21 countries are currently represented in GINETEX, with GINETEX Switzerland as the founding member.
The corresponding national organisations ensure the correct use of care symbols at the respective national level on behalf of GINETEX and represent the interests of GINETEX. The objective of collaborating is to standardise information regarding the care of textile products for customers around the world and make it easier for customers to use the information.
Licensing of care symbols in Switzerland
To ensure compliance with and the correct use of care labelling symbols and guarantee the comprehensibility of the system, the symbols are registered trademarks in most countries.
At an international level, the trademark owner is care labelling organisation GINETEX (Groupement International d’Etiquetage pour l’Entretien des Textiles – International Association for Textile Care Labelling). At a national level, the respective national organisations are responsible for bailment; this is GINETEX Switzerland in the case of Switzerland. Using the system requires a license agreement and is subject to a fee.
GINETEX Switzerland offers a simple, staggered license model that provides a solution for all market participants – from small innovative textile label manufacturers to textile concerns operating on an international scale. Please contact us for more information and an offer tailored to your requirements.
In legal terms, textile labels are not actually required by law in Switzerland.