by Dunja Hoejenbos

60 years already! Yet textile care is a particularly hot topic when it comes to the circular economy today.

In 1963, supported by professionals from its five founding countries (Germany, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, and Switzerland), GINETEX – the International Association for Textile Care Labelling – was created.

Through its unique five symbol system, GINETEX has revolutionized the world of textile care – a system that has proved itself useful, transferable, and easily understood by everyone throughout the world!

GINETEX created a universal language for just as universal, everyday products: clothes and textile articles – items that need to be taken care of by each and every household around the planet, in order to preserve them for as long as possible!

While they have helped shorten our textiles’ labels considerably, these five symbols unequivocally explain how to care for our textiles according to their composition, to make them last longer.

Undeniable proof of their world status: the five textile care symbols are now a trademark registered with the World Intellectual Property Organization and co-owned by GINETEX and COFREET (Comité Français de l’Etiquetage pour l’Entretien des Textiles), the French national committee of GINETEX created in 1964. The five symbols have also been internationally standardized (ISO 3758).

Upstream, all these national entities support local brands in choosing what symbols should be featured on their labels to make sure their products are closely associated with quality and durability. Downstream, the national organizations help spread the word effectively to consumers and textile care professionals.

Our communication also evolves with today’s stakes and challenges. Which is why in 2014, GINETEX launched its international initiative: a very useful tool in a world where environment preservation has become centre stage. This reference logo and website encourage the public to take easy steps to eco-care for their textiles. Many brands and partners who value this very instructive medium include the clevercare logo on their labels and communications, or further disseminate this initiative in their textile care instructions.

If we are celebrating GINETEX’s 60th anniversary today, it is truly thanks to you: our valued members and partners, the entire industry, and the general public. We wish to thank you all for your commitment, because it is together that we have worked over these past years, and together that we continue to work on the development of an effective tool to serve the sustainable economy of the textile and clothing sector, and textile care at large (laundry, detergent, washing machine industries, etc.).

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