Providing Certification Certainty:
What You Need To Know About Sustainability CertificationsIt seems far too easy for companies to tell you how sustainable they are, but how can we know they are being fully transparent? Certifications allow us, the consumers, to verify the claims made by our favourite brands. Hopefully, having information about the most respected sustainable certifications in the fashion industry will empower you to make the best choices for yourself and the planet. Here are our picks of certifications to keep an eye out for:
The Standard 100
The Standard 100 is monitored and set by Oeko-Tex (International Association for Research and Testing in the Field of Textile and Leather Ecology). They ensure that materials used in textile manufacturing are not harmful to humans, as well as assessing the sustainability of the working conditions. Dyes, fabrics, chemicals and other manufacturing materials all fall under the scrutiny of the Standard 100. This certification signals that an item was made in an environment that was safe for the people who made the garment and that less harmful chemicals were used in the dying and production process.
Fairtrade is a certification that can be applied to a variety of products and businesses, their standards focus on economic empowerment and sustainable living. Before the certification is awarded they ensure that the people making the goods have safe working conditions, protect the environment, build sustainable livelihoods, and earn additional money so that they can empower their communities. If a company is certified fair trade it means that they abide by the rigorous standards set out for their industry and that they are held accountable for the treatment and living conditions of garment labourers in their supply chains.
Fair Wear Foundation
A Fair Wear Foundation certification means that the company is a member of the Fair Wear Foundation (FWF). For a company to become a member of the FWF their supply chain conditions are scrutinised and they are required to make any recommended improvements. FWF verifies based on their own standards, which are set out in accordance with eight labour standards created from ILO conventions, and the UN’s Declaration on Human Rights. To ensure full transparency they scrutinise at three levels; verifying the workplace, the company and the organisation as a whole. FWF is not for profit and works across a range of professional environments from brands to governments.
Global Organic Textile Standard
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification means the garment is verified to be made from at least 70% organic fibres as well as ensuring that the whole supply chain meets strict social and environmental standards. Confirming that everything from the raw materials to the finished product are included in the certification.
To gain this certification brands must prove they manage their environmental impact, have high social standards, reduce energy and review water usage. GOTS unifies standards between countries and monitors over 1.4 million Workers in 4600 factories worldwide and is considered by the fashion industry as one of the most thorough and trustworthy sustainable certifications.
B-corp is a certification that looks at overall company performance looking at both the environmental and social impact of a company. Participants need to pay an annual fee and achieve a minimum verified score on the B Impact Assessment, which is a rigorous evaluation of a company’s impact on its workers, customers, community, and environment. B-Corp’s ranking system supports brands to improve themselves, Its certification identifies brands that want to improve and do good.