If you have the possibility and resources, it is always better to invest in certified products as like that you are making more informed purchase and know for sure that no greenwashing is involved. But it is also important to keep in mind that all these certifications itself cost lot of money and many of them need to be annually updated, so some small brands simply can’t afford it, but that doesn’t necessary mean that their product are not sustainably made. Always do your research if possible.
In this crazy world full of green washing and fast fashion, certifications help you recognise where your moneyg goes and what do you support. We were thinking which certification to choose as we didn’t want to drown you in too many terms and titles. So, we chose six different ones that should cover most of your interests and needs and also the ones you can probably come across the most. We hope our selection is going to be helpful, so let’s jump on it.
These days so many fabrics are full of harmful substances that are dangerous for our bodies. From conventional cotton, synthetics like polyester, acrylic, nylon and many and many more. very often us people have no idea what we are putting on our bodies – and also in, as the chemicals enter through our skin once we start to sweat.
OEKO-TEX is one of the best-known labels for textiles tested for harmful substances and your guarantee that the product is clear of dangerous chemicals. It controls how the fabric is processed, including things like dyes and finishes and test criteria updates annually. When the textile got the certification you can be sure that every component (lining, prints, zips, buttons,..) have been tested.
These days majority of our clothes contains harmful chemicals so it’s more important than ever wash the new clothes before you wear them.
Why should we want our product to have organic certification? By choosing organic you make sure that textile and fabric products are grown accordingly to the strict guidelines on the use of petroleum-based fertilisers, pesticides and synthetic products. It is basically all about how the raw materials for the fabric has been grown.
GOTS ensures the organic status of textiles from the harvesting of the raw materials through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing all the way to the labelling. Most common fabrics to be certified organic are cotton, wool, bamboo and must meet GOTS fibre production and processing standard.
What is CRADLE TO CRADLE? Globally recognized measure of safer, more sustainable product made for circular economy. It is a great transformative way for designing and making products with a positive impact. It is a way for brands that want to make their product more sustainable step by step. To receive certification, products are assessed for environmental and social performance across sustainability categories: material health, material reuse, renewable energy, carbon management, water stewardship and social fairness.
If you are interested in diving deep into the Cradle to Cradle we recommend to read the book with the identical name, which is all about remaking the way we make things written by Michael Braungart and William McDonough.
Buying a product with this certification is an easy way to ensure that the company that made your product had the lowest possible impact on health and safety of the people and environment by responsible use of resources, and that it is also safe for you, a consumer. BLUESING company provides independent auditing of textile mills, examining manufacturing processes from raw materials and energy inputs to water and air emissions outputs. Audit findings are being ranked in order of concern and suggest ways to reduce consumption while recommending alternatives to harmful chemicals or processes where applicable. Many outdoor apparel brands like Patagonia or North Face, use lots of BLUESIGN certified materials.
We all came across FAIR TRADE label before. Great scale of products. From food, coffee and many more. We would like to talk specifically about fashion, but the principle is the same. By buying FAIR TRADE product, you are making sure that workers through the whole supply chain are paid fairly and work in good working conditions. You can be sure that no child or forced labour was involved. It is a very important movement, promoting ethical trade in underdeveloped countries. In times when less then 2% workers are being paid minimum wage is this a way to make a difference to the lives of the people who grow and make the things we love and help change the world. As we love to remind you with every purchase you support something. By buying FAIR TRADE you can make sure that your choices align with your values.
Again, we all know what this means there is not much to say. But just for a recapitulation in this case we again only concentrate on fashion – clothes, shoes and accessories that don’t contain any animal product like leather, fur, wool, skin, exotic skins. By buying a product with any of these certifications you make sure that no animal has been harmed.
We think that it is also important to mention that when is something organic or vegan it doesn’t necessary means that the product had been ethically made and the workers had been paid fairly. Again, do your research.
+ Words: Kristina Kasparova
Kristina Kasparova is a creative nomad, free spirit seeking real conversations and inspiring stories. Czech made, she is currently based in London, focused on more ethical fashion and sustainable life.