Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tag, You're It


Is it me, or have stores and clothing companies gone wacko with all the tags, labels, wear instructions, security clips, and size stickers now coming attached to every pair of jeans?

You can't even see what jeans look like anymore because they are covered in tags. Every band, pocket, button, and cuff comes covered with them. Worse yet, trying on a pair of jeans has become an exercise in avoiding getting your buns stuck, cut, or stapled by the sheer number of sharp-edged tags poking out from every end. Not only must you sift through twelve different attached labels to find the jean size, but you realize that every manufacturer puts them in a different place. Later, when you get them home, removing the tags becomes a puzzle competition to see how many you miss while searching every pocket nook and cranny. Of course, that virtually guarantees you will have forgotten to remove one and end up looking like dork with some piece of plastic dangling from your rear.


Whereas once, you could pull off a single price tag on a pair of jeans and be good to go, now you must wade through a series of attached booklets the size of small paperbacks attached to every waistband and pocket. The "book labels" as I call them, do everything from describe a designer's 'global vision', to where the material was 'harvested', to jingles, drawings, even poetry praising the downfall of deforestation. Since when did my work pants become billboards for a green earth? When did my jeans become a poster child for carbon footprints? How are my new jeans saving the planet? I think from other people having to see me in my old pair of comfy jeans, now with too many holes to wear outside without suffering from exposure.

I resist just ripping the damn tags off each time as this has just torn, damaged, or left holes in new pants more than I care to remember. Some tags need to be untied or unwrapped carefully, some cut, clipped, opened or pulled off in a certain way. Plastic stickers removed and buttons carefully watched so you don't send them flying along with the steel reinforced metal tag that comes attached to it.
After removing all the excess tag material from my latest pair of jeans, I felt like I had enough metal, cardboard, and plastic to build my own mannequin. Why do we need all these little pieces of cardboard from our pants anyway? How many bar codes and washing instructions does one pair of jeans require?

I say we could do more to save the carbon footprint and recycle if we make a law restricting new jeans to just one label per pair. Think of the money it would save on top of the savings you would get in time just removing them all. Isn't it bad enough they make me decide between low-rise and medium-rise, boot cut and wide cut, narrow leg and relaxed fit? Can't we just have a universal label like we have with remotes? It is almost as bad as taking all of the pins out of those pre-folded dress shirts.

But then again, don't get me started.

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