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Consumer Product Safety

Special Regulations for the Promotional Products and Apparel Worlds


Pretend you are the marketing director for the largest bank in America.  You just went through a rebrand and have been tasked with replacing all pens in all banks in all buildings in the U.S.  It’s a mundane task and one that falls low on the “stuff that needs my undivided attention category”.  So on a Friday afternoon with a looming deadline, you point, click, and pick the cheapest pen, with the quickest production to just mark the task off your list so you can move the heck on with your never ending list o’ things to do.


Fast forward to Monday morning.  You grab your morning coffee and a copy of the USA Today and right there on the front page is your logo, splattered across the floor of a charred-out factory.  This story has nothing to do with your brand.  It does have to do with the factory that had outdated, underserviced equipment that created a small spark that ignited the ink used to imprint thousands of products a day, ink that was determined to have hazardous chemicals present.  But holy crap!  That’s your logo! Regardless of what the root of the story is, your brand is plastered all over every news outlet in the country talking about unsafe working conditions, import regulations and unfortunately you are now guilty by association. That two-minute browse and click session on Friday has now turned into Monday morning’s public relations nightmare. 


Did you know there is an entire set of Federal Safety Laws related to importing, decorating, and reselling promotional products?  Does your distributor comply?  Does your distributor work with suppliers that are importing compliant products?  Are you freaking out a little right now trying to remember the last imprinted product you bought online?  How do you insure you are receiving quality promo products and safe apparel from reputable manufacturing facilities that are meeting or exceeding all quality, safety, and labor standards?  Your job is hard enough as you track employee data, order all the things, have all the meetings.  By selecting a distributor partner with representatives that are trained in safety regulations, providing details for end use, and yes occasionally paying a cent or two more to do so, you can rest easy knowing that your brand integrity is intact.  Wait, what?  You don’t have a distributor partner in place to help you with this headache?  Have no fear, your team at City Apparel is here!


Compliance is important to protect the safety of American consumers, to protect your company, your brand, your logos, and ultimately your customers, and because it simply is the law.  The Account Solutions Mastermind team at City Apparel is trained to work with only the best of the best suppliers in the industry.  There are quality certifications in place within the promotional products industry to ensure safe working environments, testing, proper labeling, etc.  and we seek out those suppliers who are going above and beyond to protect your brand.  We also relentlessly read and attend trainings to stay on top of the most recent regulations, especially those related to the distribution of children’s products or the alteration of a promotional product that will market to youth.


Children’s products are those that are manufactured with the intent of end use by someone under the age of 12 or a product that is decorated with a logo intended to market to a child under the age of 12.  Think of a simple beach ball.  You want to send home a souvenir from your summer picnic with each kid that walks through the gate.  You don’t want to spend a ton of money, but did you ensure that beach ball is imprinted with proper ink and labeled with the proper tracking necessary for distribution to children?  Did you even tell your distributor you were giving these out to kids?  Or did you just go online and click the button and hope for the best?  Maybe you are holding a race and you want every kid to feel like a super hero.  But did you know that it’s unsafe to provide anything without a hook and loop breakaway release for a kid to put around their neck?  Seems like a no brainer, right?  But did anyone stop, pump the breaks on this plan and make sure that the product you are ordering is the right product, at the right price, with the right application? 


Your team at City Apparel works day in and day out to provide you with smart, creative, identity solutions.  We will dig in and find the best product at the right price and for the right application, and above all meeting all Federal Safety Laws and keeping your brand and your customers safe. 
Want more information?  Contact your rep at City Apparel today or check for yourself at www.cpsc.gov/PromotionalProducts. 
 

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Andrea Kramer