Who is Responsible for Shrinkage in Garment Once Sold to Retail Store?

I received this question a few days back from an OCS reader. The question was:
'I am new to the fashion industry and am curious if you could share who is responsible for shrinkage in materials after a garment is completed and already being sold in the retail store?'


Retail store

I had shared my opinion on this case and my reply was as following.

"You have to look at multiple situations to find the party who might be responsible for this issue.

Assuming that you are a retailer and had sourced garments from a supplier(manufacturer) through business contract. In case you had mentioned fabric quality standard (e.g. fabric shrinkage allowance limit) in tech pack while sourcing, but your supplier did not meet that quality standard (e.g. shrinkage) then garment supplier will be responsible for this.

However, during sourcing and sample approval, as a buyer, you were supposed to check fabric shrinkage in the lab test report (FPT report). Normally fabric shrinkage test and approval are done in fabric stage - prior to starting bulk production. If you had found this shrinkage issue is the order at inspection stage, you should not accept the shipment having a quality issue. In case you have accepted the shipment knowingly problem, you will responsible for shrinkage in the garment.

You might have checked the test report for shrinkage and found it was okay as per test sample. But now you are getting shrinkage in the final garment (sold garment) that is not acceptable then something goes wrong in lab test stage or supplier's end. Maybe the production fabric and test specimen fabric were of two different fabric quality. This can be traced by referring to sample specimen and sending the sold garment to test again.

In case you have not mentioned the quality standard while placed order for sourcing garment or if you have not inspected/tested garments prior to accepting the shipment, then you are responsible for this."

My question to you (the reader of this post) - what do you think? Who is responsible for shrinkage issue in a case like this? Share your thought in the comment box.

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