Fabian Demicoli

EU standards on clothing sizes?

 There are
discussions currently ongoing in order to address the problem of online returns
because of wrong sizes (on clothes)". 

The
Commission's report of 25 September 2013, concludes that "size labelling is
being addressed by either voluntary schemes or standards" and, thus, do not
need to be addressed in the Textile Regulation. Moreover, based on the findings
of a study on textile labelling, the report mentions that "limited benefits are
expected from a mandatory system as compared with a uniform EU-wide
standard-based system".

However,
a consultant in charge of a study on textile labelling identified the "problem
of online returns because of wrong sizes", with its associated costs which are
supported by both customers (approximately 1/3) and retailers (remaining 2/3).
That study also suggests that an "important benefit from a standard-based
sizing system" would be the "facilitation of online sales of clothing and
textile products and the reduction in returns of items bought online"

As such
it is being assumed that a standard-based size coding system would have the
potential to contribute to possibly minimising the percentage of returns in
on-line sales (due to wrong size) and that ‘virtual fitting' tools (e.g.
scanning facilities/rooms or internet-based techniques) would only partially
cope with this issue. It is the Commission's understanding that reducing
returns would be beneficial to both consumers and retailers/manufacturers.
Furthermore, such a size coding system complementary to product labelling or
marking would contribute to increase customers' confidence and, as a consequence,
the volume of on-line sales of clothing.

If you
have any comments/suggestions, please send your input to by
latest on 27th of January 2014.

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