Eco-fashion doesn’t have global certifications or standards that brands must achieve. But that doesn’t mean organizations aren’t trying to change that. Several are creating their own. By doing so, these organizations are creating a standard brands must reach. Only then can they truly call themselves an eco-fashion brand.
Because eco-fashion encompasses everything from the material production to the finished product, there are a range of standards to meet. Some brands can achieve certification for organic cotton. Another can achieve one for the treatment of their workers.
Here is a list that can help you easily identify a worthy eco-fashion brand.
A printable version is available here.
|This jewellery association is comprised of the top jewellers in the United States and Canada. Members are held to a high code of ethics with emphasis on consumer protection and education.|
|The goal is for global principles and criteria for cotton growers and retailers. The standards focus on pesticide reduction as well as improved water usage during growth and production stages.|
|Products bearing this label have met the Canadian government’s regulatory requirements for organic products. Rather than certifying end textile products, certification is made at the raw material level from organic farms.|
|A public commitment that the carbon footprint of a product or service has been measured and certified. This label signifies the company of the product or service has committed to reducing its footprint over a two year period.|
|An initiative of the Aid by Trade Foundation which promotes environmental protection and aims to combat poverty. It does so by providing on-site training courses to small farmers while improving crop yield.|
|A multi-level certification program, participants are awarded either the Basic, Silver, Gold or Platinum certification. |
The goal is to provide recognition to companies who demonstrate commitment in eco-intelligent product design. The areas companies can focus on include eco-materials, recycling, renewable energy, water efficiency and social responsibility.
This certification applies to materials, sub-assemblies and finished products.
|The certification body for sustainable development. |
The EcoCert certification is granted to those who have undergone an inspection and are involved in organic farming.
|Empowering those affected by environmental abuse, the EFJ works to establish preventative measures in some of the world’s poorest countries. This Foundation cuts through political and commercial agendas in order to reach the people who often lack a means to communicate their concerns.|
|Dedicated to a sustainable future for fashion, the Ethical Fashion Forum Progressive membership is the top level. Members set annual social and environmental targets, ensuring they are continually working towards the highest ethical standards in every aspect of their practice. |
As part of the membership, annual consultations take place to ensure EFF members continue to work towards their targets.
|Dedicated to ending sweatshop conditions in factories worldwide, this non-profit organization holds participants accountable to the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct.|
|An assurance label that certifies gold from artisanal and small-|
scale mining organizations. It ensures social development and environmental protection and is backed by third party certification and audit systems.
|The Fair Trade Foundation certifies a number of products including cotton, gold and precious metals. |
In regards to cotton, the goal is to guarantee small-scale cotton farmers in developing countries receive a fair and stable price for their product. Additional premiums are also provided as an opportunity for community growth.
For gold and other precious metals, the goal is setting standards for working conditions, women’s rights and health and safety of small-scale mining operations as well as responsible environmental management. The mark offers full transparency; all items marked with their stamp can be fully traced from the certified mine to the consumer.
|The goal of this standard is to guarantee transparency and traceability in all stages of production, from raw material to finished product. Use of chemicals must be environmentally friendly as well as safe for consumers. Quality assurance, reduction of energy consumption and respect of specific social criteria is also required for use of this standard. GOTS has two labels to choose from in regards to the composition of the product being certified:|
Organic Textile – Product must contain a minimum of 95% of fibers that come from organic agriculture, with a maximum of 5% being sourced from synthetic or artificial fibres.
Textiles Containing Organic Fibers – Product contains a minimum of 70% of fibers that come from organic agriculture, with a maximum of 10% being sourced from synthetic or artificial fibres. The threshold increases to a maximum of 25% for footwear and sportswear.
|Developed to meet the demands in the textile industry for quantity verification of recycled parts or ingredients in a given product, the GRS developed a method that tracks and traces these components. The GRS certification system ensures the claims made about a product can be officially supported.|
|With a focus on improving environmental and social conditions in the fashion industry, this not-for-profit organization works with fashion brands to help them improve and communicate conditions across their supply chain.|
|This regulatory program is offered by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service. The program is responsible for developing national standards for organically produced agricultural products. Consumers can be assured that products with this label have met consistent, uniform standards. The label can be used for agricultural products, including raw natural fibers such as cotton and wool.|
|Focusing on natural, safe and organic materials throughout the entire production process, this certification ensures the environment and consumers have been thought of. Final garments are tested for chemical residue and participants must adhere to ILO standards plus living wages.|
|OEKO-TEX certification guarantees no harmful chemicals were used to produce the labelled textiles. There are multiple certification levels available to qualifying brands:|
An independent testing and certification system for textile raw materials, intermediate and end products at all stages of production. Listed items have successfully been tested according to Oeko-Tex Standard 100 and meet the requirements.
A certification system for brands, retail companies and manufacturers from the textile chain to communicate their achievements regarding sustainable manufacturing processes to the public. The objective is permanent implementation of environmentally friendly production processes, optimum health and safety and socially acceptable working conditions.
This label shows consumers the textiles have been tested for harmful substances and are sustainably produced in accordance with OEKO-TEX guidelines. Each label features a unique product ID or QR code which provides full traceability and transparency for the consumer, granting them access to information regarding the production facilities along with the textile chain in which the textiles were produced, the stage of production in which fabrics were employed and the countries in which the product was manufactured.
|This not-for-profit standards setting and certification organization focuses in on the whole supply chain for the jewellery industry, from mine to retail. Included in scope are platinum group metals, diamonds and gold.|
|The SAI’s SA8000 Standard is a voluntary social standard certification on the principles of core ILO conventions, UN conventions and ISO-style management system. SA8000 is applicable to virtually all industrial sectors.|
|The UK’s leading organic organization that guarantees a product has been grown or produced to the highest standards of organic integrity. Every step of production, from cotton seeds to shipping, have been carefully inspected to ensure organic standards are met. In addition to certification, standards are enforced through regular inspections of producers, processors and suppliers.|
|This non-profit organization focuses on creating environmental and social benefits through the expansion of organic agriculture. The Organic Exchange brings together brands and retailers to learn more about the social and environmental benefits of organic agriculture. They also work to develop new business models and tools that support greater use business inputs such as organic cotton. Their first major focus is transitioning 10% of the world’s supply and demand of cotton to organic cotton within 10 years.|
|This organization is the only global network whose members represent the Fair Trade chain from production to sale. Members of WFTO must demonstrate a 100% Fair Trade commitment along with the application of WFTO’s 10 Principles of Fair Trade.|
|This independent non-profit organization has developed a program focused on lawful, humane and ethical manufacturing within the apparel, footwear and sewn product sectors.|
If I missed any certifications you feel should be on this list let me know by emailing me the details.