A recent survey of bras conducted by the Consumers' Foundation (消基會) revealed that a significant number of brands provided inadequate information on the labels.
Of 30 bras tested by the foundation, 17 were found to have incomplete information on the label, and 10 contained some kind of bleaching agent, used to enhance the whiteness of the material.
According to the foundation's secretary-general, Terry Huang (黃怡騰), bras include a wide range of materials in the lace trimmings, embroidered decoration, and shoulder straps, and information about all of these should be provided on the label.
Many manufacturers are failing to comply with these labeling standards -- Manjiao, Miki, Peyheyi, and Dunni Rous are considered among the worst offenders.
Huang added that in some cases, the labels did not even include details about the materials used, so not only are consumers unaware of what they are wearing, there are also no care or washing instructions.
According to the foundation, this information is just as important as having ingredients listed on food products, since the material comes into close contact with the skin.
Man-made fibers are more likely to cause sweating and itchy skin, whereas natural fibers allow air to flow more easily, and make perspiration less of a problem. If there is too much lace in a bra it can also be harmful to the skin, as it does not absorb moisture very easily.
The last few years have seen the increasing popularity of see-through shoulder straps, and not only do these not absorb moisture, they can harm the skin over time through rubbing.
By law, manufacturers are required to provide information on the label for each part of the product, and failure to do so could result in a fine, or even closure.
The advice given by the foundation to the manufacturers, then, is to ensure that all necessary and required information is provided on the label.
The advice the foundation gives to consumers is to purchase according to the SAFE principle: Safety, Aesthetics, Fashion and Environment.