There's something so official about a new piece of clothing when the tags are still on. It seems sterile and factory born until you snip the plastic fastener and let loose the hangtags that give branding cache to your purchase. Heavy card stock with letterpress design was exactly what I had imagined for Her Riding Habit. And then I began to run the numbers... 32pt card stock (yes over the top, but so nice), hole punched, printing, edges colored (again, overboard) and multicolored (because Her Riding Habit colors are not black and white); it all began to add up. This cost, just like packaging, is added into the costing of the product. As a consumer, I sure don't want to be paying a premium for a piece of cardboard that I'm going to snip off and toss into the trash. I had to go back to my priorities. I didn't want the additional things you won't be wearing, like packaging, shipping and hangtags to jack up the price.
These shirts are produced in small batches and multiple sizes. The branding hangtag needed to be universal, one tag fits all, in order to get a high enough minimum printing quantity to keep the costs down. A simple tag with the logo on the front and the branded appaloosa spots printed on the back in the signature color for Her Riding Habit was going to do the job. I was also able to get it printed on recycled paper, another priority.
And then I had the fabric tested for a UPF rating, after I ordered the hangtags. That would be key information to have on the hangtag! I added to each tag a sunshine bright sticker indicating the UPF test results. What a hassle that was, but I'm telling myself the stickers stand out more than if I had printed the info on the tag originally.
The shirts are made up of three fabrics, two of them have special qualities that consumers would want to know about, and the fabric manufacturer offers hangtags to advertise that info. The additional tags aren't required, but I think they help to explain the fabric. The back fabric is treated with ChitoSante, which helps the fabric be breathable, anti-bacterial, durable, fast drying and odor resistant. The tag says "ChitoSante is the only anti-bacterial bio-agent in the world that is certified by the US Environmental Protection Agency." So, okay, there's a hangtag for that. (Unfortunately the provided hangtag is a glossy coated little number, not very environmentally friendly.) The front fabric is a Repreve fiber which contains recycled materials, and there's a hangtag for that.
With three hangtags to secure to the shirts, I was ready with the tagging gun. Tagging guns are ubiquitous in retail and those little plastic fasteners are floating around the earth forever. I honestly hadn't thought about this when I eagerly bought the gadget. When I did a test tagging sample, it felt all wrong. The plastic fastener was such a bad move. There is never a good location to attach the tags. And if anyone who purchases the shirt has no patience to find scissors, like me, there's a chance of ripping a hole in the shirt when you try to man handle the plastic fastener and pull it apart. I had to ditch the tagging gun. Other options were branded ribbons, simple ribbon in a signature color, interesting string, tying them directly, securing with a mini clothespin, etc. I ended up going with a delicate hemp string that I could just loop around a button. With the hemp, at least I wouldn't feel bad about it getting tossed in the trash.
What about sizing? Sizing should be on the hangtag, right? Well, it could, but I did want the hangtags to be universal so I could do one large printing. The size is already on the tag-less label inside the shirt collar. And then I realized, for inventory storage, being able to see a size quickly would be necessary. Again with the stickers... I was able to order some kraft paper stickers with sizes and will stick those on the outside of the clear packaging by EcoEnclose.
Hangtag decisions done, and they are ready for the shirts! I'm sure the process in hangtag creation will be quicker in the future, and there may be changes as needed, but I'm super happy they are complete. Now all I need are the shirts!