ACCC takes action against Cotton On over children’s nightwear

6 October 2011

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted legal proceedings in the Federal Court, Melbourne, against Cotton On Kids Pty Ltd and Cotton On Clothing Pty Ltd.

The ACCC alleges that Cotton On sold children’s nightdresses and pyjamas which did not comply with the mandatory consumer product safety standard for children’s nightwear.

It is alleged that between September 2010 and March 2011 Cotton On sold children’s nightdresses composed of fabric which exceeded the level of flammability allowed under the standard.

Children’s nightwear that does not comply with the mandatory standard increases the risk of fire hazards. This means that children wearing them are at higher risk of severe burns and death if the nightwear catches fire.

It is also alleged that between October 2010 and March 2011 Cotton On sold children’s pyjamas that had attached an appliqué with some unstitched fabric wider than allowed under the standard. Loose-fitting flammable clothing increases the risk of burns if it catches fire.

The ACCC also alleges that by offering the nightdresses and pyjamas for sale with a “low fire danger” label attached Cotton On misrepresented that the garments were made from fabric of a low fire danger type or were otherwise styled to reduce fire danger.

The ACCC is seeking:

  • declarations that by supplying the nightdresses and the pyjamas and offering them for sale with a “low fire danger “ label attached Cotton On contravened the Competition and Consumer Act 2010
  • pecuniary penalties
  • injunctions
  • orders that Cotton On implement a trade practices compliance program, and
  • costs.

The matter has been filed in the Federal Court’s Fast Track List and is listed for a scheduling conference in Melbourne on 24 November 2011.

Release number: 
NR 186/11