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Fashion Laws in India

Fashion Laws in India

Fashion has become an integral part of modern Indian society. It is an industry that generates huge revenues and employs millions of people. However, like any other industry, the fashion industry is subject to laws and regulations. In India, there are several laws that govern the fashion industry, and these laws have a significant impact on how the industry operates. In this blog post, we will discuss the various fashion laws in India and their implications.

1. The Copyright Act, 1957

The Copyright Act, of 1957, governs the protection of intellectual property in India. This law provides protection to original works of art, literature, music, and other forms of creative expression. In the fashion industry, this law protects designs, patterns, and other original works.
Design piracy is a common problem in the fashion industry, and the Copyright Act provides protection against such infringement. A fashion designer can protect his or her original designs by obtaining copyright registration. Once registered, the designer has the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, and sell the design.
The Design Act, 2000: The Design Act, 2000, provides protection to industrial designs in India. It covers the registration, protection, and infringement of designs.

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2. The Trademarks Act, 1999

The Trademarks Act, 1999, governs the registration and protection of trademarks in India. A trademark is a symbol, logo, or design that identifies a particular brand or product. In the fashion industry, trademarks are essential for protecting brand names, logos, and slogans.
Fashion companies must register their trademarks with the Trademarks Registry to obtain legal protection. Once registered, the company can prevent others from using its trademark without permission.

3. The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999

The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999, protects the geographical origin of products. In the fashion industry, this law is essential for protecting traditional textiles and handicrafts that are specific to a particular region.

For example, the Banarasi silk saree is a traditional textile that is specific to the city of Varanasi. Under this law, only sarees made in Varanasi can be called Banarasi silk sarees. This protection ensures that traditional crafts and textiles are preserved and that local artisans are not exploited by counterfeiters.

4. The Consumer Protection Act, 2019

The Consumer Protection Act, of 2019, governs the protection of consumer rights in India. In the fashion industry, this law is essential for protecting consumers from false or misleading advertising.
Fashion companies must provide accurate information about their products, including materials, sizes, and prices. Companies that violate this law can face penalties and fines.

5. The Indian Penal Code, 1860

The Indian Penal Code, of 1860, is a criminal law that governs various crimes in India. In the fashion industry, this law is essential for protecting intellectual property and preventing fraud.
Design piracy and counterfeiting are criminal offenses under this law. Companies that violate these laws can face severe penalties, including fines and imprisonment.

6. Advertising Laws

Advertising laws are also relevant to the fashion industry in India. The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) is a self-regulatory body that governs advertising in India. The ASCI has a code of ethics for advertising that lays down the standards for advertising in India.
The code of ethics requires that advertising be truthful, not offensive to public sentiment, and not in violation of any laws

7. Environmental Laws

The fashion industry is also subject to various environmental laws in India. The main environmental laws that apply to the industry are the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, of 1974, the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, of 1981, and the Environment Protection Act, of 1986.

These acts provide for the prevention and control of pollution in the
environment. The fashion industry is particularly susceptible to environmental pollution due to the use of chemicals and dyes in the production of clothes. The laws also regulate the disposal of waste products and the treatment of effluent.

8. Labor Laws

The fashion industry is one of the largest employers in India. However, it is also subject to various labor laws that govern the employment of workers in the industry. The main labor laws that apply to the fashion industry in India are the Factories Act, of 1948, and the Minimum Wages Act, of 1948.
The Factories Act lays down the standards for working conditions in factories, including the safety and health of workers. The act also provides for the regulation of working hours and the employment of women and children.
The Minimum Wages Act, on the other hand, provides for the payment of minimum wages to workers in various industries, including the fashion industry.

The act also provides for the regulation of working hours and the payment of overtime wages.

9. Patents

Patents protect the unique designs and innovations created by fashion designers. In India, patents are registered with the Patent Office under the Patents Act, of 1970. Once registered, the patent owner has the exclusive right to use the patented design and can take legal action against anyone who infringes on their patent rights.

10. The Textile and Apparel Industry

India’s textile and apparel industry is governed by the Ministry of Textiles. The Ministry is responsible for formulating policies, implementing programs, and promoting the development of the industry.
The Textiles Committee Act: This act was enacted to establish the Textiles Committee, which is responsible for the development of the textiles industry in India. The committee sets standards for textiles and clothing to ensure quality and safety.

The Textile Labelling (Quality Control) Order: This order requires all textile products sold in India to carry a label indicating the fiber content and care instructions.
The Bureau of Indian Standards: The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is a national standards body that develops and promotes standards for various products, including textiles and clothing. The BIS has developed standards for various textile products, such as cotton, silk, wool, and jute.
The Drugs and Cosmetics Act: This law regulates the use of cosmetics and prohibits the use of certain ingredients that are harmful to human health.
The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act: This law prohibits the employment of children in any industry, including the fashion industry.
Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI): ASCI is a self-regulatory body that governs advertising standards in India. It monitors and takes action against misleading or unethical advertisements, including those related to the fashion industry.

11. Foreign Trade Policy

The Indian government regulates imports and exports of textile and apparel products through its Foreign Trade Policy, which provides guidelines for export promotion, export incentives, and import restrictions.


In addition to these regulations and guidelines, there are also industry associations and organizations in India that provide support and guidance to fashion businesses, such as the Clothing Manufacturers Association of India and the Fashion Design Council of India.
The fashion industry is subject to several laws and regulations in India. These laws are essential for protecting intellectual property, preventing fraud, and protecting consumers’ rights. Fashion companies must comply with these laws to avoid penalties and fines.
In conclusion, the fashion industry is a significant contributor to the Indian economy, and its growth must be supported by appropriate legal frameworks. The laws discussed in this blog post provide the necessary legal protection for fashion designers, brands, and consumers. By complying with these laws, the fashion industry can continue to thrive and contribute to India’s economic growth.

Article Submitted by:

Akanksha Shukla

(student at city law college, Lucknow University)

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