Many will surely think, "how do I know my purchase is sustainably produced?". Different certificates are a convenient way for the consumer to make sure how the product you bought is made. However, it’s worth noting that getting a certificate costs money, so this may prevent smaller brands from certifying their products. Many smaller companies may use certified materials in their production, so for this reason, it is always worthwhile to get to know the brand’s story and other information better as well.
On this page, we have listed the most common responsibility and environmental certifications and labels to help you make sure of how your new product is made.
The Bluesign® system is a solution for sustainable textile production. In Bluesign® certified products, harmful substances are removed right from the start of the manufacturing process. The system sets and monitors standards for environmentally friendly and safe production. This ensures that the final textile product meets very strict consumer safety requirements worldwide, but also gives the consumer confidence to purchase a sustainable product.
COSMOS is an organic certificate with an independent natural cosmetics standard (known as the COSMOS standard) to help balance organic standards worldwide. It provides a clear and honest statement about natural raw materials and helps environmentally friendly as well as organic people to make choices more easily.
GOTS comes from the words Global Organic Textile Standard and is one of the most strict organic cotton certifications today. The certificate may cover the cotton or fabric used in the product, or it may also be obtained for the final product.
GOTS certification of a garment or other end product requires approval of the entire production process, including cotton cultivation, fabric manufacturing and dyeing, and sewing all the way to product packaging. In addition to environmental requirements, each stage of production must also comply with social regulations that protect farmers and workers.
More information about the GOTS certificate can be found at https://www.global-standard.org/. You can also check on the website whether the company has received GOTS certification.
The Global Recycle Standard (GRS) certificate guarantees that recycled material has been used in the product. The standard also sets environmental and social requirements for production. The certificate is issued by the Control Union, an independent international network of inspection activities and laboratories.
The Fair Trade Certification system is a system managed by Fairtrade International (FLO) for products whose production meets certain environmental, labor and social sustainability requirements. The Fair Trade certification system aims to improve the position of smallholder farmers and large farm workers in developing countries in international trade. The Fair Trade label on a product means that the production chain complies with FLO's Fair Trade criteria, and the label, like eco-labels, is intended to influence consumers' purchasing decisions.
The Fair Trade system's main principles are:
The Oeko-Tex Standard 100 is an international textile testing and certification system developed in 1992. The standard restricts the use of certain textile chemicals that are considered contaminants. A certificate issued by independent research institutes guarantees that the product does not contain harmful pesticide, heavy metal or formaldehyde residues. The manufacturer is granted a certificate and the right to use the Öko-Tex standard 100 symbol in the products he/she sells when the product fully meets all the requirements of the Öko-Tex criteria.
For the consumer, the Öko-Tex label is a kind of manufacturer's guarantee of quality. Labeling is a uniform safety standard throughout the textile production chain and allows for inspections of contaminants at all stages of production. The samples are tested in independent Oeko-Tex test facilities. Samples are examined for pH, formaldehyde content, pesticides, soluble heavy metals and chlorine compounds, preservatives such as pentachlorophenol and tetrachlorophenol, and allergenic and carcinogenic dyes. The samples are tested for substances that are harmful, according to current knowledge, for health and are not yet regulated or prohibited by law.