Ethical and Sustainable Fashion Certifications

ethical certificationsThis blog post may contain affiliate links. This means if you choose to purchase through one of these links, I may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Please note that my reviews are 100% my own personal opinion.

Ethical and Sustainable Fashion Certifications

So, you want to start buying sustainable and ethical clothing, but where do you start? Filling your closet with eco-conscious pieces made by people earning fair wages in proper working conditions is the heart of ethical fashion.

When you are just starting to cultivate your sustainable closet, it can be challenging to know what brands are ethical and sustainable and which ones are not. Looking for certifications is an easy way to identify ethical fashion.

More than likely, a sustainable company will have some information on how they implement sustainable practices on their website. Along with this information, there should be the certifications they have or initiatives they are a part of. These certifications can help you determine which brands to purchase from.

Looking for more in-depth info on ethical shopping and sustainable living? Check out these posts ethical shopping and sustainable lifestyle.

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1% for the Planet

An organization that inspires businesses to give back to the Earth by donating 1% of profits to credible environmental nonprofits, that is 1% for the Plant.

1% for the Planet connects its members to nonprofit organizations to facilitate direct collaborations, donations, volunteering, etc. While this is not exclusively related to fashion, there are a lot of fashion brand members. As well as the participating nonprofits whose missions affect ethical and sustainable shopping.

Some brands participating in 1% for the Planet:

Made Trade | MATE the Label | Vege Threads


Certified B Corporation

B Corp Certification is a holistic measure of a company’s social and environmental impact. For a company to obtain this certification, every aspect of their business will be evaluated from the supply chain, employee benefits, environmental impact, materials used, to their community impact.

Some Certified B Corporations are:

Organic Basics | United By Blue | KOTN


Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)

The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) offers a certification for products made with at least 70% organic fibers as well as compliance with other social and environmental criteria such as energy and water consumption.

Keep in mind that just because a brand has one product that is made with GOTS certified textile, it doesn’t mean that all their products are GOTS certified. For this certification, you are looking at the individual product and whether it was made with a GOTS certified textile.

Some brands with GOTS certified clothing:

Thought | Synergy Organic Clothing | Everlane


Fair Trade Certified

For clothing, the Fair Trade certification label indicates that the product was made in a Fair Trade Certified factory. This includes transparent supply chains as well as sustainable earnings and working conditions for the workers.

Some brands with Fair Trade Certified clothing are:

Pact Apparel | Madewell | prAna


OEKO-TEX

OEKO-TEX is an organization with multiple standards all pertaining to the safety of, the sustainability of, and the social welfare in the production of textiles.

STANDARD 100 – this standard ensures that every component of the garment has been tested for harmful substances.

MADE IN GREEN – a traceable label that ensures the product was tested for harmful substances and was manufactured using sustainable processes in socially responsible working environments. The label will come with a product ID you can enter on their website to see where the product was produced.

LEATHER STANDARD – this label indicates that the leather good was tested for harmful substances at every stage of production.

STeP – Sustainable Textile and Leather Production (SteP) is another standard by OEKO-TEX. This standard is a part of the MADE IN GREEN standard. It is a certification for the entire textile & leather production chain with the goal of certifying socially and environmentally responsible production.

Some brand with various OEKO-TEX standards:

Wolven | Toad & Co | Outland Denim


Bluesign

A Bluesign certification ensures that the product was made with sustainable textile manufacturing principles. In addition to sustainable processing, other Bluesign certifications regulate the safety of the consumer in regards to the products as well as safety in the workplace.

Some Bluesign certified brands include:

Faherty | REI | Eileen Fisher


Fair Wear Foundation

Fair Wear is a nonprofit organization with the goal of making ethical fashion the new industry norm. They perform brand performance checks, factory audits, factory training, as well as have helpline available to any workers with complaints.

Some Fair Wear participating brands include:

Kings of Indigo | King Louie | Dawn


Soil Association Organic

Soil Association Organic is an organic certification body based in the UK. In addition to certifying food, beauty, and farming, they also have a certification for organic fashion and textiles.

Some Soil Association Organic brands include:

People Tree | Komodo | Seasalt


Happy Ethical Shopping!

As you can see there are many certifications out there for sustainable and ethical fashion and I’m sure there are several more that are not on this list. Knowing the different certifications and what they mean is a good place to start when transitioning to ethical and sustainable shopping.

However, just because a brand does not have any of these certifications it doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t implement sustainable or ethical practices. Having the certification shows the consumer their commitment to sustainable and ethical processes.

When you are looking for ethical and sustainable brands, you do not have to try and find those that have all of these certifications. Although several of the brands I listed do have more than one certification. For example, Everlane is both GOTS and Bluesign certified and Patagonia is a part of multiple certifications and standards.

You can use the brand directories found on the certification body’s website as a tool to check and see if a brand you are interested in is certified. Or you can use it to find new sustainable and ethical brands to explore.

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This blog post may contain affiliate links. This means if you choose to purchase through one of these links, I may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Please note that my reviews are 100% my own personal opinion.

6 Comments

  1. May 13 2020 / 7:26 pm

    It’s so important to shop sustainably! Thanks for sharing!

    • Kelsey Castleberry
      Author
      May 13 2020 / 10:51 pm

      Yes, it is! Thanks for reading 🙂

  2. May 13 2020 / 8:19 pm

    As someone transitioning to a more ethical lifestyle, this post was super helpful! Thank you so much for sharing, and I will be on the lookout for these certifications.

    • Kelsey Castleberry
      Author
      May 13 2020 / 10:52 pm

      I am so glad the post was helpful 🙂 Thanks for reading!

  3. May 14 2020 / 12:43 pm

    A wonderful blog on an important topic. Will definitely look into some of the sustainable brands you have recommended. Thank you for sharing!

    • Kelsey Castleberry
      Author
      May 14 2020 / 9:13 pm

      Awesome! Thanks for reading!

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