Textile and Fashion Certifications you need for a successful sustainable business

Fashion Supply Chain Certifications

A certification is a legal or contractual requirement. A standard is a performance benchmark and framework establishing how something should be made. A material or process can be certified against various standards that pertain to different environmental and social conditions. They are intended to ensure that certain conditions have been met in the production process.


Key Certifications

There are many important certifications in the apparel and footwear industry. Covering a range of topics, for example, recyclable materials and social issues in the supply chain, certifications can be used to help reduce the unethical practices occurring in the workplace. While there are many certifications possible for a company to receive these are the most common ones that are present in the industry.


A certification focusing on aspects of consumer safety, water, and air emissions and occupational health. There is also a focus on the reduction of harmful substance usage at the early stages of production. This places an emphasis on legal compliance and environmental health and safety.

Content Claim Standard

A voluntary certification that can be used to trace material through the supply chain.


Cotton Made in Africa is a certification that aims to combat poverty and promotes protecting the environment while providing on-site training courses.

Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act

Enacted by the federal government of the United States of America to establish consumer product safety standards and other safety requirements for children’s products.

Crade to Cradle

With a focus on eco-intelligent product designs, this certification awards based on levels pertaining to 4 different areas, specifically eco materials, renewable energy, water efficiency, and social responsibility.

EU Eco-Label

A voluntary scheme encouraging businesses to market products that are less harmful to the environment. The criterion is based on the overall impact the product has on the environment through its lifecycle.

Fairtrade Certified

An independent consumer label that signifies that fairer terms of trade, better prices and longer lead times promote security and economic self-sufficiency as well as sustainable production practices.

Fairtrade and Fairmined Gold Certification

A new certification, combining Fairtrade International and the Alliance for Responsible Mining, that assures consumers that gold jewelry is responsibly sourced, also allowing small-scaled minors to improve their living situation.

Global Recycle Standard

A track and trace system that verifies the number of recycled parts or materials in a given product.

GOTS certified

Worldwide requirements that ensure the organic status of textiles, this however encompasses the entire process, from harvesting of raw materials to labeling to provide credible assurance.


These 2 seals that are responsible for safeguarding and reviewing the entire textile chain specifically environmental standards and social accountability.


A certification that verifies the sustainability of green building and development practices, this demonstrates the building is without doubt environmentally responsible, profitable, and healthy to live and work.

Made in Green

A label that also verifies that a product is made in a fully traceable supply chain, and has been manufactured in factories that are respectful to the environment and the workers.

Nordic Swan

A symbol that demonstrates a product is a good environmental choice.


An international association that tests for harmful substances in the various stages of textile production. It has two certification labels; the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 and the Oeko-Tex Standard 1000.

R Cert

An educational standard for recycled clothes that guarantees that brands recycled their own textile waste into their own recycled textile clothing.

Recycled Claim Standard

Another standard to track recycled raw materials through the supply chain and giving credibility to recycled claims on products.

SA8000 Certified

A social standard certification with the mission to advance the human rights of workers around the world.

Sustainable Fair Trade Management System (SFTMS)

The new overall universal approach for the certification of production, trading, and communication.

Textile Exchange

A non-profit, member-based organization, focused on the expansion of the organic cotton market who offers benefits to its members, especially those working in the areas of organic farming engagement and public education.

ZDHC Manufacturing Restricted Substance List(MRSL)

Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals is a list of chemical substances banned from the intentional use in facilities that process textile materials.


Initiatives are a way to gain support and help to provide sustainability in the supply chain. While they may have voluntary codes, they do not certify. Many initiatives were formed with the intention of dealing with the poor practices that are especially present in major chains of fashion.

Key Initiatives

Initiatives are often used to combat problems that are prevalent in major brands, but not something smaller brands have to deal with. They can have various purposes, from educating consumers to providing goals for companies to strive to reach. These are some important initiatives that are particularly making a huge impact on the apparel and footwear industry.

Better Cotton Initiative

An initiative to promote sustainable cotton production by covering 3 pillars of sustainability specifically the environmental, social, and economic conditions.

Business for Social Responsibility (BSR)

Voluntary goals set by the organization in order to improve and maintain wastewater quality in textile related operations.

Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI)

A leading initiative committed to improving working conditions in the global supply chain. This can assist in retail, trading, brand, and importing companies toward an overall goal of social compliance.

Fair Wear Foundation

An independent verification that works to improve labor conditions in supply chains.

Fair Labor Association

A nonprofit organization dedicated to ending sweatshop conditions in factories worldwide.


A digital label that allows consumers to see the overall environmental and human impact of the clothes purchased. The phone application allows consumers to scan the label thus educating on the origins of clothing, and how to care for it in the best environmentally friendly way.


A European non-profit organization that aims to improve environmental and social standards within the fashion industry. However, participation in Blue Button standards is voluntary.

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