Casual Apparel Recall: 2009 Seattle Cotton Works
Casual Apparel For Kids in the Spotlight
In 2009, the manufacturer of casual clothing, Seattle Cotton Works, LLC of Bellevue, Washington created this website to notify consumers of a recall of their children's hooded sweatshirt.
The recalled sweatshirts had a drawstring through the hood which posed a strangulation hazard. Under certain conditions, the drawstring could catch on playground equipment, tree branches, fences, etc., entangling the child with the potential for strangulation occurring. The hooded, long sleeve sweatshirts had full-length zippers and drawstrings along the neckline. Parents.com issued a warning in March 2009 telling parents to remove the drawstrings from sweatshirts immediately before permitting a toddler to wear them to eliminate the strangulation hazard, and /or call the manufacturer to arrange for a full refund.
The specific item in this case is a widely available casual apparel item - a medium quality hooded sweat shirt manufactured in Pakistan and from January 2009 through February 2009 was sold nationwide at Kohl’s Department Stores for approximately $17.00. It's an item that gets messages and images printed on it, so you can't identify it by the color or size, or any other specific details. The recall did not include other brand items manufactured by the same businesses - vests, trousers, jeans, hats, pants, shoes. But the retailer is very well known and popular for every kind of casual apparel for ladies and men, including footwear, shirts, pants, jackets, and all the accessories. So shoppers looking for many items will see these kids sweatshirts in the stores. We did not see any relevant information in the stores. And many consumers shop online where it would seem to be easy to post notices but likely gets overlooked in the scramble.
I am a Magento web developer and happen to work for a progressive software company. I assist my company's ecommerce clients not only with their Magento development, but also any customization that is needed. I love the fact that Magento uses open source code and can't wait to see what new features will be introduced throughout the coming years. In the meantime, we have clients who become overwhelmed with the Magento options that are available. They frequently need help with determining how to connect their business needs with a strategy for choosing and executing customized development for Magento services and themes for their audience. One of my co-workers alerted me of this recall since she knew I had several kids who were of the age that could have worn such sweatshirts. Boy, am I glad she told me. I called my wife who checked all hoodies and discovered that there were two Seattle Cotton Works fleece sweatshirts. She removed the drawstrings from the sweatshirts and even used this website to get a refund.
Once the recall was over, this site’s domain was not renewed.
There were several iterations of the site created by various buyers of the domain that had nothing to do with the original intent of the site. When I recently discovered that the domain was available, I bought it with the intent of restoring some of its original content found in its archived pages. These particular recalls are over, however I believe that consumers should remain aware of them, if for no other reason than for historical purposes.
Keep Our Children's Casual Wear Safe
From The Editor: We applaud the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for protecting shoppers, whether shopping online or at a clothing store, from hidden dangers in clothes, especially outfits worn by children. This is not an issue with the fabrics, comfort, price, size, materials or shipping, but with the safety of a product for kids. Thanks to the internet, we also benefit from critical commentary, not just on style, fit and comfort, but also on convenience and safety. The reviews of a specific outfit or retailer may determine the success of the collection or a featured line of dresses, or any style of casual wear, regardless of the promotional budget. So reviews clearly widely read and influential, especially for popular items like hooded sweatshirts. We encourage this form of commentary, especially as it may apply to kids apparel. Clothing stores obviously have an interest in protecting customers. We want the casual but sophisticated fashion look in our children's wardrobe to make a statement safely.
One interesting consequence of this consumer alert is the fact that many brands and manufacturers of casual wear have taken heed of the problems identified by this recall. Although not an issue with items or accessories for men or women, any article of children's clothing that uses a drawstring should be examined if this problem is present due to the design of the neck area. We noticed that online store MoonAtMidnight, which specializes in Batman t-shirts, including the popular "Batman vs Superman" designs, also sells hoodies, with no drawstrings. My son, the Batman expert, pointed this out to me when looking to shop for his favorite Batman t-shirts, especially the "Batman vs Superman" collection, on the site. He also pointed out the striking print jobs on their sublimated Batman t-shirts - vivid printing with amazing detail and colors. I was blown away by the high tech process that results in such amazing shirts. Batman would be proud. And their hoodies, without drawstrings, very likely due to this recall, are safe. Batman's got this covered, even when it comes to his rivalry with Superman.
Unfortunately, this is not the case generally for casual wear, especially purchases of clothing online. When buying informal items like scarves, or shorts, or tees, or even a dress, no one thinks about the hazard that may have been created by the designer or manufacturer. Consumers may be concerned about the comfort of the materials - cotton, or polyester, but don't usually consider whether the dyes that create those brilliant colors are safe, or if the belts or drawstrings are ok. Unless they are warned by a responsible watchdog.
So next time you're shopping for comfortable clothing - jeans, a t-shirt, hoodie, denim jacket, etc., especially for a child, you can relax and appreciate that there are people who protect us by just publicizing the facts. The style of that hoodie is all you want to be paying attention to.
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Under the agency’s jurisdiction, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injuryand / or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products, in this case, casual apparel. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the US more than $1 trillion annually.
Committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard, CPSC's work helps ensure the safety of consumer products in the US. Their oversight has contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.
Federal law bars any person / manufacturer from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
2009 Seattle Cotton Works Hooded Sweatshirt Recall
In 2009 the Seattle Cotton Work had one CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) recalls because of a strangling issue with the sweatshirt's drawstring.
Below is the information found on the Consumer Product Safety Commission website for this product.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.
Seattle Cotton Works Hooded Sweatshirts with Drawstrings Recalled Due to Strangulation Hazard
FOR Firm’s Recall Hotline: (800) 533-8922
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.
Name of product: Hooded sweatshirts
Units: About 40,000
Distributor: Seattle Cotton Works, LLC, of Bellevue, Washington.
Hazard: The sweatshirts have a drawstring through the hood that can pose a strangulation hazard to children. In February 1996, the CPSC issued guidelines to help prevent children from strangling or getting entangled on the neck and waist drawstrings in upper garments, such as jackets or sweatshirts.
Incidents/Injuries: None reported.
Description: The hooded, long sleeve sweatshirts have full-length zippers and drawstrings along the neck line. The products are sold under the Seattle Cotton Works brand in six different designs. The styles are set forth in the image below. The name, “Seattle Cotton Works” appears along the inside neck line.
Sold exclusively at: Kohl's Department Stores nationwide from January 2009 through February 2009 for about $17.
Manufactured in: Pakistan
Remedy:& Consumers should immediately remove the drawstrings from the sweatshirts to eliminate the hazard, or call the manufacturer to arrange for a full refund.
Consumer Contact: ;For additional information or assistance returning a product contact Seattle Cotton Works at (800) 533-8922 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or online at www.seattlecottonrecall.com