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Regulation, Requirements & Red Tape
I tried for a snappy title, I really did. Regulation isn’t the sexiest of topics, but my, it’s important. It’s important to me anyway. And it’s really challenging to get your head around. I need to start this post by saying I’m no expert. I definitely haven’t got it all worked out yet. However, after wading through pages of legislation and standards, I think I know what I need to know. I know enough to not be utterly blindsided at least.
Our end users are treasures
Making sure our products are safe and meet standards would be important no matter what I was making. However, I remember when I first got the idea to start Mummy’s Muse. Very early on, the thought came into my mind that safety would be paramount. This isn’t some slap dash experiment. If I really want to make Bold Prints for Fearless Babies and Children (and ask people for money in return), I need to ensure these incredible babies and children are clothed safely. This led me down the road of learning the requirements to produce and therefore sell clothes safely. For babies and children in particular.
UK Law, EU Law & Brexit
I knew sooner or later I was going to have to come face to face with Brexit. No doubt it will affect multiple areas for Mummy’s Muse. Looking at the legal requirements for baby and children’s clothing, it’s clear there’s UK legislation and there’s EU legislation. I remember from my A-Level politics that EU law actually overrides UK law.
All well and good till you Brexit. Fortunately there’s often crossover in the two sets of legislation. Conveniently for me, with the laws that pertain to our products, UK law seems to be more stringent than EU law. The two areas that are subject to legislation for me are The Children’s Clothing (Hood Cords) Regulations, 1976 and The Nightwear (Safety) Regulations, 1985. Those are UK laws. I think their EU counterparts are EN 14682 Safety of children’s clothing — Cords and drawstrings on children’s clothing and EN 14878 Textiles – Burning behaviour of children’s nightwear.
Honestly? It’s a lot. I’m not a lawyer, I’ve spent time unpicking what these things mean for my products. The cords and drawstrings one is easier to wrap my head around. Also they aren’t a prominent feature in my design. And after learning about this legislation, I will be avoiding them int he future! It’s so good we have these safeguards in place. The cords and drawstrings legislation is about not having strings around children’s necks and around their waists because of the risks of them getting stuck as they go down slides etc.
For now my plan is to adhere to regulations that allow me to trade in both the UK and EU. I’ve decided that’s the safest way to go.
Other regulations and certifications
Outside of the laws outlined above, there’s REACH to think about. REACH is a European Union regulation that addresses the production and use of chemical substances, and their potential impacts on both human health and the environment. REACH covers all consumer products sold in the European Union including children’s clothing (but also things like plastic toys).
There’s lots of third party testing that can be conducted to ensure products meet the correct standards and adhere to regulation. There are also certifications of fabrics and factories that help you know that you’re reaching certain standards. Some examples of these are:
If you’re still here, I’m seriously impressed
This may be my least well crafted post, but there’s so much info and as I said, I’m still working it all out. I’m speaking to our factory to work out where we are on the above and it’s likely I’ll put samples through testing.
I guess the takeaway is that despite the fact that this isn’t straightforward, nor that fun, regulation and safety is really important to me. I want our buyers and wearers to feel confident in our products and I want to nail that from the very start. One of our brand values is being considered and this falls under that header for me.
Consistency: Slow and Steady
Ok, so it’s not a race, it’s a journey Consistency is one of those words that makes me think of clean eating, reading a daily devotional or trying to learn to do the splits as an adult. It’s really hard and you can’t acheive it instantly. I started university when Facebook was in it’s infancy. …
The Coach Approach
It’s been two weeks since I’ve written. I’m still going through a phase where I’m struggling to find balance and spend my time in an optimal way – the quest for boundaries continues. However it’s fine, I’m here, I’m well and many positive things have happened. One of which is that I’ve found a Coach. …
Our New Tech Packs Are Here
We’re on the move friends! I could barely contain my excitement this week when our new tech packs arrived. My first tech packs were completed in March last year – I actually can’t believe it – over a year ago! I produced them in a bit of a mish-mashed way: I hired a designer to …