When I refer to tags, I mean those things we find inside of clothes that offer all kinds of useful information like the brand name, what the product is made of, the size and the care instructions.
These same tags can be found on pretty much any textile product including mattresses, comforters, table cloths and pillows.
I confess, I am an unapologetic tag saver. Why wouldn’t I be?
As an impressionable (and sometimes anxious) little kid raised in the era of “Do not remove by penalty of law” tags, there was no way I could have slept at night if I ever ripped off a tag, even by accident.
And throughout the years, I always saw good value in them and learned to live with them.
When I found a piece of clothing that I really enjoyed (or one that possibly drew compliments), if I wanted to go back to the store and get another one in a different colour, the tag would make that task easier by telling me everything that I needed to know.
Because my weight can fluctuate by a few pounds over the course of a year, depending on my seasonal fitness routines and diet, keeping tags has helped me to keep my wardrobe organized by having an idea of what size a garment is so that I don’t have to try it on each time to see if it’s too big, too small or just right.
Should I ever spill something on a garment, knowing what it is made of can help determine what might be most effective to get a stain out without causing any damage.
And of course, if you ever need to return something, good luck trying to do it when the tags are off, even if you have a receipt to prove you paid for it.
So, for me, the tags stay on, and often well past the decision point that I am keeping an item… like the throw pillows on my couch that I have had about two years (with the tags still on). It’s OK, I just lay them on the couch with the tags neatly tucked under, so that no really one knows that the tags are there until they sit down.
Funny enough, I find myself surrounded by badass tag rippers.
In associating with tag rippers over the years, they would argue that tags are scratchy (because they are rarely made of the same fabric as the garment), tags are unsightly, tags are irritating, and these days, there seems to be multiple additional tags for bar codes, SKU numbers, stock numbers, and serial numbers.
I’ll never forget one of my girlfriends, many years ago, who said “Come here” when a tag was sticking up from the back of my shirt. I truly thought that she was just going to tuck it back in. Instead, she got a good grip on the tag, and tore it with a flourish… and in doing do, ripped the shirt along the way. She was mortified, while I couldn’t stop laughing. I forgave her immediately, but she felt terrible.
And even then, when you carefully snip off a tag with a pair of scissors, sometimes the remnants of the tag leave behind sharp edges that can be more irritating than a full tag.
Even though they have adjusted the wording on tags over the years and they now say “under penalty of law this tag not to be removed except by the consumer”, you’d think that I would have been freed and now ripping tags off of anything and everything.
But I couldn’t imagine the filing system I would need to keep, to remember which tag went with which product, just in case. It sounds like a lot of administrative overhead.
That being the case, the early brainwashing remains.
Given that I actually do find tags useful, and I am just not the rebellious type to go around and rip tags off of clothing and pillows with a flourish, it may take a while for me to fully convert to ever become an unapologetic tag ripper.
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