CHINA: Zara admits flaws; withdraws products

Spanish clothing and accessory retailing giant Zara acknowledged quality problems in its products found in a sample inspection after a Beijing watchdog group blasted the company for fudging the issue.

Referring to test results on its Zara Man trousers - which newspaper China Daily reported had different cotton content to what was labelled - Inditex admitted the garments were incorrectly labeled.

The company also said that they have withdrawn the products that failed the inspection conducted by the Beijing Consumer Association (BCA) early last month, according to Xu Xueqing, communications director of Inditex China, Zara's parent company.

"We thank the BCA for its quality supervision guidance and suggestions and highly acknowledge its test results. We will continue to work with the BCA to ensure consumers' rights in the future," Xu told the Global Times in a phone interview on Tuesday.

In an apparel quality test result released by the BCA April 10, the watchdog found that some of Zara's trousers contained 10 percent less wool than stated on the label and also exceeded legal limits of formaldehyde and alkalinity, both of which can cause irritation to the skin.

It said that the acrylic and viscose content of the trousers was not stated on the trousers. However, Chinese regulations require these fibres to be expressed as "Other Fibres".

The test, which sampled 57 pairs of leisure trousers from 57 domestic and international brands, found that 20 well-known brands were substandard and among them Zara flunked three categories, more than any other brand examined.

The Spanish company added: "Consequently, and in line with Beijing Consumers Association conclusions, we can underline that the garment does not present any forbidden and/or restricted substance content".

It was also the only label that failed three consecutive tests. BCA had found the quantity of eiderdown in its coats was lower than claimed during two previous tests in 2009 and 2010.

Zara opened 75 stores in China last year and plans to open 120 more this year.

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Added: May 12, 2011 Source: Agencies
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