SAFEGUARDS | Softlines NO. 028/16

SafeGuardS kid playing the bubble

Due to recent flammability injuries, the UK retail industry has been actively trying to ensure that dressing-up costumes are made even safer than they have traditionally been.

Through the British Retail Consortium (BRC) working groups of stakeholders including the British Standards Institute (BSI), various toy and textile testing laboratories including SGS, retailers and safety experts have together contributed to produce two Codes of Practice. The industry believes these new Codes will complement the existing testing and labelling demanded by the current Toy Safety Directive and result in greater security for consumers.

In the first Code of Practice: “Method of Test for the Flammability Safety of Children’s Dress-up”, an enhanced testing regime based on EN 71-2 has been produced which includes additional procedures designed to address many of the perceived shortcomings within the existing method of test: EN71-2. The new procedure encourages the testing of materials including trimmings before the items are made so that manufacturers can be assured that the fabrics they use will be compliant. Additional features of the Code allow for testing of materials e.g. trims, previously too small for the existing method. The new method requires the testing of material in both length and width direction to accommodate those garment patterns which use fabric cut across the grain.

The second Code of Practice: “Flammability Labelling of Children’s Toy Dress-up” concerns the labelling of dressing-up clothes and suggests more prominent warnings and information regarding the additional safety testing outlined above.

SafeGuardS 02816 figure 1

The above should be seen as voluntary codes of practice and an interim measure pending decisions at European level regarding the systematic review of existing methods of test.

The Codes of Practice themselves will be uploaded to the BRC website: in due course.

SGS Global Softlines has an extensive network of over 40 laboratories worldwide, with a strong team of committed professionals from multi-disciplinary backgrounds. Our internationally accredited state-of-the-art testing laboratories offer a comprehensive range of physical, chemical and functional testing services for components, materials and finished products. We help your company ensure quality, performance and compliance with international, industrial and regulatory standards worldwide. Discover more at

For enquiries, please contact:

Louann Spirito
Director Technical Support, Softlines
t: +1 973 461 7919

Stay on top of regulatory changes within your industry: subscribe to SafeGuardS!

© SGS Group Management SA – 2016– All rights reserved - SGS is a registered trademark of SGS Group Management SA. This is a publication of SGS, except for 3rd parties’ contents submitted or licensed for use by SGS. SGS neither endorses nor disapproves said 3rd parties contents. This publication is intended to provide technical information and shall not be considered an exhaustive treatment of any subject treated. It is strictly educational and does not replace any legal requirements or applicable regulations. It is not intended to constitute consulting or professional advice. The information contained herein is provided “as is” and SGS does not warrant that it will be error-free or will meet any particular criteria of performance or quality. Do not quote or refer any information herein without SGS’s prior written consent.