Chanel Recalls Scarves, Dresses and Blouses Due to Fire Hazard

Last week The Orange County Register first broke the story of a massive product recall by the Chanel label, now the specifics of the recall have come to light and it seems as if they raise more questions then they answer. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) prompted Chanel to issue the recall after they discovered that several of the label’s 2010 summer styles failed to meet the federal standard for garment flammability. The offending items, which include 120 different scarf cuts and prints as well as 34 blouses and dresses were sold through Chanel boutiques, Nieman Marcus and Maxfield during the months of March and April last year.

According to the CPSC most of the garments were returned to Chanel by May of 2010, a full year prior to the official recall. The CPSC’s alert goes on to note that anyone still in possession of one of these styles should “immediately stop using the garments and contact the firm to receive a full refund.” For the garments to have failed the federal flammability standard they would have to pose a serious risk to the wearer due to how easily they ignite and how rapidly they burn, which is often a problem experienced by certain types of polyester and other synthetics. The catch here is that all the Chanel products in question were 100 percent silk, which is notoriously hard to ignite.

The obvious questions here are why it took the CPSC over a year to test these products and why so many were returned to Chanel in such a short period of time after purchase? The most likely answer is that there was a defect in the production run that was sold between April and May, and it was a defect that the majority of consumers noticed. However Chanel has not offered any specifics as to what that defect may be, in point of fact they have yet to issue a public statement concerning the recall. For pure silk to fail a flammability test the fault would have to lie with the dyes used in print making or some other chemical that the silk was treated with, unless of course the items in question were not 100 percent silk.

At the moment it seems like Chanel knew there was a problem but was keeping quiet in the hopes of avoiding the black eye this recall will doubtlessly give their image. While it is hard to believe that Chanel would intentionally mislead their customers or use sub-standard material, with the rising costs of production it would not be surprising to find out one of the label’s suppliers did exactly that.

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