A barometer for Textile care labelling in Europe

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        GINETEX European barometer



70% of Europeans follow the textile care instructions featured on the labels and
80% admit that they would not (or would rarely) buy clothes without any labels,
While another 84% feel concerned by water and energy savings.


PDF Download the press release


GINETEX, the international Association for Textile Care Labeling, called upon the French market research company IPSOS, to evaluate the behavior of European Consumers with regards to textile product labels and care symbols. This study, carried out in December 2016, combines the results of six different countries, gathered from a sample of 6,000 people in Germany, England, France, Italy, the Czech Republic and Sweden.


This IPSOS study reveals that 70% of Europeans follow the textile care instructions represented by the symbols. At a pan-European level, 57% even admit that they follow them 'often' and 13% do so 'always'. These figures illustrate the importance of care instructions in the minds of European consumers.



  • 38% state that they follow these instructions in order to avoid washing problems such as shrinking, in the first place
  • 31% follow them in order to preserve their clothes and keep them longer, as a second reason


Overall, Europeans consider labels as too cumbersome and 62% admit cutting them out: for 74% of them, the labels itch and irritate their skin and for another 55%, they are often too long and uncomfortable. These results can differ from one European country to another.

However, the presence of the label is a real purchasing criterion since 80% of Europeans state that they would never or rarely buy a piece of clothing without a label.


Internet and smartphones: true virtual partners for textile labels


Here's from a positive perspective: when solving a specific washing issue or when faced with symbols that they don't understand, 53% of respondents are curious about their meaning and automatically look them up on the Internet: 39% use a computer and 21% use their smartphone.


Ironing and washing symbols are the most recognized by Europeans!


The study reveals that the ironing and washing symbols are the ones that are best understood by our neighbors: scoring respectively 97% and 91%.


The three other symbols remain unclear to consumers:


  • The professional cleaning symbol is the least understood with 21% Europeans who interpret it properly
  • 39% do not know what the bleaching symbol stands for
  • 45% do not know what the drying symbol means


The same is true for special features such as underscores under the symbols, noticed by only 1 out of 4 Europeans.

On the other hand, the dots inside the ironing and/or the dryer drum symbols go more noticed, with one out of two Europeans (54%) who actually see them.

Press release


Eco-care, a major issue for European consumers!

The IPSOS study reveals that 84% of Europeans feel concerned about water and energy savings. And among Europeans who feel concerned, 90% take specific eco-actions when caring for their textile products.

It is worth mentioning that European consumers already seem to adopt the proper eco-habits when caring for their textiles.


  • 62% choose "natural drying as soon as possible"
  • 61% do "mainly low temperature washes"
  • 44% use the "Eco program"



GINETEX values eco-caring for textiles, in particular via its clevercare.info logo, already used by a number of major international brands, in addition to the 5 textile-care symbols. With its own site dedicated to the general public, this logo's objective is to raise awareness and to inform consumers about the simple and easy actions to adopt for textile eco-caring.


"The results of this GINETEX-IPSOS barometer are positive and encouraging. They reflect the fundamental role of GINETEX and that of our international committees who work to increase the understanding of textile care symbols. Our mission is to work on a long-term basis - an effort also confronted with obstacles such as the misinterpretation of symbols and the removal of labels. Together with our member brands, we must continue to reinforce our actions with the general public to ensure all our symbols (and special features) are understood by all, throughout the world. Our permanent goal of standardizing and harmonizing our textile care labeling system worldwide contributes to this improvement every day", says Adam Mansell, President of GINETEX.


Study Methodology:
In this study, a sample of 6,000 people from Ipsos' Online Access Panel, aged between 18 and 65 and representative of the European population was surveyed for the following countries: Germany, Great Britain, France, Italy, the Czech Republic and Sweden. The survey was conducted online in December 2016.



GINETEX, the International Association for Textile Care Labelling, was first founded in Paris in 1963 following several international Symposiums for Textile Care Labelling at the end of the 1950’s. GINETEX has devised an internationally applicable care labelling system for textiles based on symbols. The pictograms used are registered trademarks and are the GINETEX property. The care labelling system gives consumers and textile companies the correct information on the care treatment of textile products. The processes indicated by the symbols will avoid any irreversible damage to the product. GINETEX is composed by 22 national organisation members. These organisations represent all interested parties concerned with textile care and labelling.


Secretary General
+33 (0)1 47 56 31 71


Tags : Care - Textile - Europe - research

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Tags : Care - Symbols - Textile - Europe - News - Regulation - International

Results of the 2nd IPSOS European Barometer 2019

Durability of clothing and recognition of care symbols: GINETEX unveils the outcomes of the 2019 IPSOS European Barometer


 GINETEX European barometer


  • More than 8 out of 10 Europeans consider that the textile care label is useful.


  • The vast majority of Europeans (70%) follow the label's care instructions.


  • 2 out of 3 Europeans say that they care for their clothes in order to be able to wear them longer.


  • 75% of Europeans give their unwanted clothes to charities, associations or relatives, or drop them at a collection point.


  • 3/4 of Europeans never or rarely buy a garment without a care label.


PDF Download the press release


GINETEX, the International Association for Textile Care Labelling, unveils the results of the second European Barometer for 2019 "The textile care label and the Europeans", conducted with IPSOS. Today's survey was carried out in seven European countries: France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Spain.


Europeans appreciate their clothes and wish to keep them for as long as possible


This is one of the major trends identified by the barometer: Europeans like to buy clothes and pay attention to how they should take care of them. In the seven surveyed countries for instance, almost all respondents (97%) had purchased at least one item of clothing in the past six months. The proportions vary between 94% in Sweden and 98% in Italy and Spain.


Europeans are concerned about the durability of their clothing and pay great attention to their care instructions: 70% respect their textile’s label’s guidelines - a relatively stable result (+1 point) compared to the last edition of our barometer. On this specific subject however, answers differ quite significantly between the countries: 78% of Swedes follow the care instructions, 71% do so in France while only 64% do so in the United Kingdom.


When they were asked why they followed these guidelines, two out of three respondents mentioned that they wanted to keep their clothing for as long as possible – illustrating that durability of clothing is a widely shared issue in Europe.


"This barometer milestone is rich in teachings for our profession. Durability of clothing is at the heart of Europeans’ interests, who wish to keep their garments for as long as possible. Europeans - with disparity – find the label instructions very useful and have a high level of trust in their textiles’ care labels.”  Says Michael Hillmose, President of GINETEX


The textile care label: a true ally for Europeans who care for their clothes


Eight out of ten Europeans (82%) consider the textile care label useful. Although this figure remains significant, it drops to 76% in France and 79% in Spain. On the other hand, it reaches 86% in the Czech Republic, 85% in Italy and 84% in Sweden.


For a vast majority of respondents, the textile care label plays a crucial role in the purchase of a garment: 75% of Europeans would never (or rarely) buy a garment without care instructions. This answer testifies how important this label is to Europeans. Among them, the British and the Germans are the most attached to the care label: for 83% inhabitants of these countries, the purchase of a textile without a label is out of the question, or rare.


Generally, it is at the time of the first wash (47%) or when they purchase a garment (26%) that Europeans take a look at the instructions on the garment’s label. The Germans refer to it the most at the time of purchase (33%) and the Italians check it the most at the first wash (53%) together with the Swedes (52%). On these two points, the French range in the average figures of European behaviours: 45% of them check the label at the first wash, and 28% at the time of purchase.



Europeans are therefore sensitive to textile labels because they wish to care for their clothes. Now, whether they actually understand the care symbols is another question! The symbol for ironing is perfectly identified: 98% of Europeans recognize it. The same goes for the washing symbol, which is well recognized by almost nine out of ten people (89%). For the other symbols however, the proportions are much lower. Only 28% of respondents know the symbol for bleaching (although 45% in Spain and 40% in Italy do understand it), 24% know the symbol for drying and only 15% can identify the professional cleaning symbol.


And when they do not understand the care symbols on their label, almost half of the Europeans (49%) go on the Internet. In France, only 41% of those surveyed go online, while 56% of the Czechs or 55% of the Italians do so. In contrast, the French, like the Swedes, are 34% to fend for themselves in this situation: far more than all Europeans (26%).


Europeans remain committed to the idea of offering a second life to their clothing 


Today, awareness about environmental issues is rising everywhere and this trend is clearly present in our barometer. Hence, when Europeans no longer want a garment, only 7% throw it in the garbage - as opposed to 75% of Europeans who donate it (32% to associations, 13% to their relatives and 30% to collection points). Giving to a charity or an association is particularly common in the United Kingdom (57% of respondents), while people in Italy and the Czech Republic give it to relatives (respectively 18% and 19%), and people in Germany prefer to drop it in a collection point (52%).


In this context, it is particularly important to keep our clothes’ labels. They can be very useful, and even critical for people who recover clothes for a second life. 68% Europeans, however, cut their textile’s label - systematically or occasionally. In France, as many as 74% cut them. Conversely, only 45% of Britons cut their labels, and 60% of Swedes do so.



Study Methodology:
This study was carried out by IPSOS Institute for GINETEX, the International Association for Textile Care Labelling, with a sample of 1000 people aged 18 to 65 in each of the 7 countries (a total of 7 000 people): France, Germany, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Italy and Spain. This study was conducted online from November 21st to 27th, 2018 in France and from June 21st to July 5th, 2019 in Germany, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Italy and Spain.



First founded in Paris, in 1963, GINETEX, the International Association for Textile Care Labelling, has devised an internationally applicable care labelling system for textiles based on symbol, which aims at informing textile companies and consumers on the best way to care to their textiles. The pictograms used are registered trademarks and are property of GINETEX. GINETEX promotes these symbols worldwide and coordinates its technical contents on a global scale - which is essential for the definition and application of the care labelling code. Today, GINETEX counts 22 member-countries.


Secretary General
+33 (0)1 47 56 31 71


Tags : Europe - News



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