Sustainability Certifications in the Fashion Industry.

Sustainability Certifications in the Fashion Industry.

 Within the last 12 months, we have seen a key shift towards sustainability and more brands beginning to adopt this messaging within digital marketing. Which has resulted in a cluttered market and a lot of greenwashing. 

Which begs the question of what certifications should you be looking for when shopping for Sustainable fashion? 

There’s a lot of confusion on what makes garments sustainable, however certifications reveal a lot of information on a brand’s ethos and environmental output. These are some of the better known standards. 

GOTS Global Organic Textile Standard

The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is a world leading textile processor who has defined their own sustainable accreditations.

Their standard covers the processing, manufacturing, packaging, labelling, trading, and distribution of all textiles made using at least 70% certified organic fibers. GOTS certification also includes an Organic grade which means it must contain a minimum of 95% certified organic fibers. This standard focuses not just on cotton, but all organic fibers including wool, bamboo, and silk.

Under this standard, limits are set on the environmental impacts of the production process. These limits include restricting toxic and potentially toxic chemicals, no use of azo dyes that release carcinogens, biodegradability requirements, waste management, and water treatment and packaging materials.

Workers should be able to choose their employment, there is no child labour, health, and safety criteria are met, and fair wages paid.

Oeko-Tex Standard

The Oeko-Tex Standard is a four-tier system used to evaluate the toxicity of chemicals present in clothes. Compliance tests are run by independent inspectors. Oeko-Tex certification is often awarded in conjunction with GOTS certification.

Fair Wear Foundation

The Fair Wear Foundation is a non-profit organization that works with brands, factories, trade unions, NGOs, and sometimes governments to verify and improve workplace conditions for garment workers in 11 production countries in Asia, Europe, and Africa.

Fair Trade Certification

If a brand has Fair Trade Certification, it shows that its workers receive a fair wage and the conditions they work in are safe. The Fair Trade website states that “a Fair Trade certified seal means a product was made according to rigorous social, environmental, and economic standards.” You can be certain that the methods used in the manufacture of the material protect the people who made them and the environment.

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