What is relabelling and how does it work?

relabelling clothing

Relabelling clothing has been a big trend in work apparel for many years, but it also poses a few ethical questions, none the least as it means taking a product that isn’t yours and making it appear to be with a new label. Here’s the thing, whilst we may have an ethical stance, if you do it correctly, it’s NOT illegal. 

Today, we are going to take a look at relabelling and discuss what it is, who is it for and what are the benefits of doing it this way. 

What is relabelling?

Relabelling is the act of removing a label from a piece of clothing and putting a different one in it. 

For many years, apparel printers have used this technique for businesses who are looking for a branded item. Most commonly used by small and medium businesses in the printing industry, relabelling is using a product from a wholesaler and selling as your own. 

There are some limitations obviously. You can’t just go around taking labels out of all tops and relabelling. The conditions that apply include; 

  • That apparel come from a wholesaler/wholesale brand
  • Products must be basic in their design and nature
  • Products must NOT include any patterns or designs 
  • Products cannot be found to look like another brand – or created to look like one. 


Who is relabelling for? 

Relabelling does help a lot of businesses get off the ground and there are lots of conditions where this practice is useful for many new start-ups and established businesses as well. 

What is the target market for the relabelling industry? Here are just a few examples. 

  • Small businesses looking to start a clothing brand. It provides a competitive advantage against large competitors who can scale up production. 
  • Designers who want to relabel so that their design is both part of the overall design and branding. 
  • Printers/tailors doing alterations to the apparel and garments. 

Fundamentally you need to be compliant with the laws of the local territory as well. You can’t just take labels out of garments, that would be illegal. You need to have the correct provisions in place and advice to deal with any requests. 

If you’re unsure, ask the supplier, they will know about what can and can’t be done with many of the items that they are selling at a wholesale level.

When you replace a label, your t shirt printing company will know the different procedures to do so. From here you can design a woven solution or a printed one to replace. 

What are the benefits of relabelling garments? 

The point about relabelling is to expand your brand awareness and visibility and by doing so, you are creating a better impression of your business and increasing levels of professionalism associated with your business. 

Whilst they won’t increase your sales – based on data – it can help transmit core values of the business. 

To summarise, relabelling is the act of removing labels from wholesale apparel and replacing with a design/label of your own. This is useful for many different businesses but precautions must be taken before proceeding with any changes to apparel and garments. 

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