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HFPA to Write Production Standards

Group Sets Market Dates Through 2010

The Home Fashion Products Association has launched a drive to create production standards for industry products — beginning with sheets and an attempt to codify the identification of thread counts.

This move will be the first step in bringing the HFPA into a new realm as a standards writing organization, said Dianne Morris, president of the HPA and president of Bay Linens. HFPA is working with the American National Standards Institute to develop home textiles products certification levels.

To that end, the HFPA unveiled a new mission statement: "HFPA serves to advance the growth of the global home fashion product industry by setting standards for excellence through technical product compliance, advocacy and awareness efforts."

The organization also plans to rebrand New York market week, naming the semi-annual, showroom-based event "New York Home Furnishings Week." HFPA released a schedule for market week dates running through 2010. (See box.)

In a report to the membership during the organization's annual meeting earlier this month, Carolynn Jennings, executive director of HFPA, said that the American Down & Feather section has developed a seal of approval for companies using feather and down products. To date, she noted, the group has brought eight challenges to products with misleading labeling, most of which got pulled off retail shelves. Only one outstanding challenge remains; it concerns the use of the term "synthetic down."

Jennings noted that Steve Palmer of HFPA member firm United Feather & Down is now also president of the International Down and Feather Bureau.

Robert Leo of Meeks & Sheppard, counsel to HFPA, updated members about the California and Consumer Products Safety Commission activities regarding flammability standards for home textiles. Early next year, he said, California will be issuing its proposed stands, and the federal CPSC is expected to follow California's lead within months.

At this point, Leo observed, the Orphans' Work bill in the U.S. Congress is done for this year. As for shipments coming in from abroad, China will continue to "get attention" as well as Vietnam. Next year, he added, shipments from the Philippines, Kenya, Korea and Hong Kong are expected to receive a higher level of scrutiny.

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