If you’ve been searching for sustainable fashion, you’ve probably come across several eco labels. We can totally imagine that they leave you puzzled. There are so many of them and almost all of them have names that look more like secret codes than names. Therefore, we felt like it was time to write a guide that will clarify the most used labels. This way you can search for labels that match your ideals or know where to find the meaning of the labels and certificates you come across!
GOTS- Global Organic Textile Standard
This certificate you’ve probably seen before from clothing made from organic cotton. The Global Organic Textile Standard is an international standard for organic fiber. The standard ensures that the textile is organic and has requirements covering the whole production process. The criteria are both social and ecological. For example, raw materials must be harvested in a sustainable manner and raw material processing into textile in a socially responsible manner. The end products must be labelled so that consumers can find fair information about this process. Packaging and distribution must also meet responsible requirements. Also, certain rights for factory workers are ensured, such as the right to form trade unions and the right to safe and healthy working conditions. Click here for more information.
Fairtrade is the largest recognized fair trade mark in the world. As you might know, this label is not only for clothing, but also for beverages, such as chocolate or coffee. The standard is only applicable in countries where freedom of association is applicable. Also, all subcontractors of the company are controlled by Fairtrade. The standards of this certificate apply to the workers and to smallholders that are working together in cooperatives or other organizations with a democratic structure. Some of the principles for the employees are that living wage must be implemented within six years. The status and position of employees must be safeguarded, using trade unions. The workplace must be safe. There are also principles for the environment. Chemicals must be under control and there is a list of prohibited materials that create an excessive health risk. Click here for more information.
The ones that always search for vegan items, must know this certificate very well. PETA is a major animal rights organization familiarized worldwide. PETA focuses on four areas most affected by animals: the bio industry, the clothing industry, in laboratories and in the entertainment industry. The PETA-approved vegan logo stands for clothes that are totally vegan, which means no leather, fur, wool, silk and sheets of animals have been used. Animals should not be exploited in any way in the development process of the clothing. The companies that put the PETA-approved vegan logo on their clothes must sign PETA’s Statement of Assurance, verifying that their clothing is vegan. Click here for more information.
SA8000 is one of the first controllable social standards for decent working environment in the industrial sector. It is based on the UN declaration of human rights and the convictions of the International Labor Organization (ILO). SA8000 measures social performance in areas important to social accountability in workplaces, secured by a management system element that drives continuous improvement in all areas of the standard. A control organization checks whether the requirements are met. Some of the criteria of the standard are: no child labor, no forced labor, a safe and healthy working environment, workers have the right to form trade unions, no discrimination, employees are treated with respect, no unreasonable working hours and a right to a living wage. Click here for more information.
OEKO-TEX has been established so that companies can more easily see what standards manufacturers meet. OEKO-TEX certification helps by making a universal standard. There are different standards. OEKO-TEX Standard 100 is an independent testing and certification system for textile at all stages of production. Products that are certified do not contain hazardous substances. Made in Green by OEKO-TEX is a standard similar to OEKO-TEX Standard 100. However, besides no hazardous substances in the products, the standard is that the textile that is made with environmentally friendly processes under safe and socially responsible conditions. STeP stands for Sustainable Textile Production and is a new OEKO-TEX certification system for brands, retail companies and factories that want to communicate their sustainability performance to the consumer in a transparent, credible and clear way. Click here for more information.
These were some of the most used certificates that have hopefully been cleared up. If you come across labels or certificates that you don’t know, but would like to know more about? Let us know! We would be more than happy to help you out. Also, if you have some feedback about this post, or any other post, comment below or send us an email. We are always looking for improvement!