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Textile certifications

Your guide in choosing certifications

How does this guide work?
Environmental, social, animal rights, organic, resource recycling. The labels that make the difference! Choose the certification you are interested in, then click on the corresponding button for further information.

What are textile certifications?

We can consider textile certifications as the starting point for defining sustainable, ethical, or cruelty free fashion.

But why do we need it?

Laws vary from country to country especially when it comes to environmental or social aspects.

The absence of adequate laws, or the failure to apply them (especially in developing countries) favors the expansion of the textile industry, in particular of fast fashion, which brings with it irreparable consequences for the environment and people.

Certifications are standards, i.e. rules that companies must comply with - variable rules based on the type of certification - and therefore guaranteeing: chemicals used, social aspects, animal rights.

How can I get certifications for my company or product?

We are not a certification body, but as an expert association in the field we can simplify your search. 

If you are here to evaluate the certifications you would like to obtain, or to find out more than the list on this page:

Person fills out textile certification in the laboratory

Textile certifications list

Environmental certifications

The environmental certifications applied to fashion guarantee the use of chemicals that are not harmful to the environment, both during the cultivation of a plant, such as cotton, and during the spinning of the fabric and in all subsequent processes, up to the finished and marketed product.

Tests and banned toxic chemicals vary by certificate, but most have several points in common.

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)

FSC Certified Logo
Type Application Objective Control body
NGO International Environment, Social External consortia

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international non-profit certificate, created mainly with the aim of stopping deforestation and related social problems that spread all over the world.

Not just fashion companies, any company can get certified Forest Stewardship Council, with the primary objective of purchasing products derived from sustainably cultivated trees.

FSC certification proposes two different standards:

  • Forest Management: it is the certification suitable for those who manage real forests (cultivation of trees).
  • Chain of Custody: is the certificate of commercial companies that deal with the sale of products derived from the exploitation of forests.

FSC-certified products come from controlled forests, in which deforestation is carried out intelligently and, in most cases, followed by the re-grafting of trees.

Respect for the social conditions of workers and especially of any forest inhabitants (animals or humans) is another factor of primary importance.

FSC is an indispensable certification for the future of forests.

  Look at the Technical documentation
  Search for articles related to FSC

Oeko-Tex

Logo Oeko-Tex certification
Type Application Objective Control body
Association International Environment External consortia

OEKO-TEX® offers a range of services that can be adapted to the specific needs and situation of the textile industry. Thanks to this approach, it offers unique advantages and practical help to all companies that are committed to responsible and sustainable management.

Oeko-Tex certifications

OEKO-TEX is among the most widespread textile certifications in the environmental field and offers different standards (labels) according to the needs of the company.

  Look at the Technical documentation
  Search for articles related to Oeko-Tex

BlueSign

Certified Logo BlueSign
Type Application Objective Control body
Brand International Environment External consortia

Dictating clear principles in terms of environmental and social sustainability, this is what the company takes care of BlueSign, an International certification with very clear standards:

  • Saving of energy resources.
  • Consumer safety.
  • Reduction of water consumption.
  • Abatement of toxic emissions in the air.
  • Occupational health and safety.

To 'homologate' the substances used during the various work processes, three categories of evaluation of these chemicals are made available:

  1. BLUE category when the substance is not harmful to humans and the environment and can therefore always be used.
  2. GRAY category when the substance can be used in some particular circumstances and in the absence of valid alternatives.
  3. BLACK category when the substance is toxic and cannot be used in production processes.

Manufacturing companies that require certification BlueSign must adapt to these standards, finding valid alternatives to replace the chemicals present in the 'BLACK Category'.

  Look at the Technical documentation
  Search for articles related to Bluesign

REACH

Regulatory logo Reach
Type Application Objective Control body
Rules Europe Environment State

Reach it is not a certification, but a European regulation consisting of over 140 articles that provide for checks on all chemicals produced, or imported into Europe. The rules Reach sets important goals in the environmental and social fields:

  • It protects human health and the environment by improving knowledge of the dangers arising from the use of chemicals.
  • It requires the use of alternative methods to chemical tests, which are normally performed on animals.
  • It improves the innovation sector and the competitiveness of the European chemical industries.

In the Sustainable Fashion sector, regulation Reach comes into play in all stages of product processing, which mostly take place through chemical processes, especially in the initial stages, but also in the final stages of production: just think of the dyeing of fabrics, industrial washing, and printed graphics .

Reach it is a regulation drawn up in collaboration with Greenpeace, which currently applies to all products made in Europe, but not to those made outside the European Community.

  Look at the Technical documentation
  Search for articles related to Reach

Social certifications

Social (or ethical) certifications set standards for workers' rights: child exploitation, fair wages, working hours, holidays, trade unionism, occupational safety, etc. Elements that we consider "normal" in our country, but which in several countries are totally ignored.

The textile industry, Fast Fashion, Low Cost fashion, have exploited the relocation of companies by moving production to countries where it is not a problem to ignore the basic rules. The goal is not to harm people, but to lower production costs and consequently the selling price of retail products.

Most of the social certifications would be useless in countries like Italy (at least in part), in fact they mostly deal with countries where social problems are very evident: China, Bangladesh, India, South America, Africa, etc.

Equo Garantito

Certified Logo Equo Garantito
Type Application Objective Control body
Association Italy Social Internal

Equo Garantito is a trade association in the fair trade market: the Italian General Assembly of Fair Trade.

The slogan of Equo Garantito is: "our job is to ensure a fairer world"

It represents the experiences and culture of its members: non-profit organizations and Fair Trade Shops that promote these products, in an economy of justice based on cooperation and equal relations.

Especially the brand Equo Garantito is responsible for:

  • Promotion of fair trade in Italy;
  • Monitoring of fair trade organizations;
  • Fair trade education and training;
  • Lobbying and advocacy on institutions in Italy and in Europe.
  Look at the Technical documentation
  Search for articles related to Equo Garantito

Fairtrade

Certified Logo FairTrade
Type Application Objective Control body
NGO International Social, Environment Internal / external consortia

Fairtrade is a brand that guarantees fair trade, an international non-profit organization (NGO) and the main certifier of fair trade products.

He works mainly in developing countries, he deals with the fashion sector, but also with the food sector.

A very important body, which guarantees the social status of workers in agricultural fields and within production companies.

It promotes livelihoods for families involved in the textile / food sector of underdeveloped countries.

It also embraces the environmental aspect, dictating the basic rules of eco-sustainable production.

The interests of farmers and workers are as important as commercial considerations.

  Look at the Technical documentation
  Search for articles related to Fairtrade

Fair For Life

Certified Logo Fair For Life
Type Application Objective Control body
NGO International Social External consortia

Fair For Life is a fair market certification applicable to all agricultural raw materials, food products, cosmetics, detergents, textiles and crafts.

It is a certification that covers the entire supply chain: farmers, workers, producers, traders and brand owners.

Fair For Life mainly deals with:

  • Respect for human rights and fair working conditions;
  • Respect for the ecosystem, promotion of biodiversity and sustainable agriculture practices;
  • Respect and improvement of the local impact.
  Look at the Technical documentation
  Search for articles related to Fair For Life

Fair Wear Foundation (FWF)

Certified Logo Fair Wear Foundation
Type Application Objective Control body
NGO International Social Internal

Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) is an independent non-profit organization that works closely with fashion companies with the aim of improving the working conditions of textile workers.

Certification Fair Wear Foundation guarantees in particular the following conditions:

  • The workers have freely chosen the job.
  • There is no discrimination in the workplace.
  • Child labor is not exploited.
  • There is freedom of association for trade union purposes.
  • Fair wages are paid.
  • Working hours are sustainable.
  • The working conditions are safe and healthy.
  • Employment contracts are legal and give certainty to the worker.
  Look at the Technical documentation
  Search for articles related to FWF

SA8000

Certified Logo Sa8000
Type Application Objective Control body
NGO International Social External consortia

Certification SA8000 it was developed by the NGO Social Accountability International and is applicable in various fields, not just in fashion. It mainly deals with verifying the social status of workers in companies, in particular verifying the basic requirements:

  • Child labor.
  • Forced work.
  • Health & Safety.
  • Freedom of association.
  • Discrimination.
  • Disciplinary procedures.
  • Working hours.
  • Salary.
  • Management systems.

SA8000 arises from the foundations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, with the aim of establishing verifiable international standards.

It is an important certification for fashion companies, but it does not enter into the merits of environmental sustainability.

  Look at the Technical documentation
  Search for articles related to SA8000

Animal rights certifications

Animal rights certifications set rules for the protection of the animal world. They mainly deal with certifying and encouraging fashion brands that choose to renounce the use of materials of animal origin: wool, leather, silk, feathers, furs.

Sometimes they don't just limit themselves to this, but also evaluate the production chain of a product. A supply chain that must be "clean" of toxic chemicals harmful to the environment. The use of these substances also negatively affects the animal world, causing thousands of deaths every year in this fragile ecosystem.

Animal rights certifications parallel environmental ones, in fact the word "Vegan" is increasingly similar to the word "Eco-sustainable".

Animal Free Fashion

Logo Animal Free Fashion
Type Application Objective Control body
NGO Europe Animals, Environment Internal / external consortia

Certification Animal Free Fashion is a project of the Anti Vivisection League (LAV) and aims to encourage fashion companies to totally or partially renounce the use of materials of animal origin.

Why totally or partially? The certification Animal Free Fashion assigns a rating rating corresponding to V | VV | VVV | VVV +.

The VVV + Rating is assigned to fashion companies that renounce all materials of animal origin. While the lower V rating is assigned to those who renounce only fur while continuing to use other materials of animal origin. Over time, the company can replace all materials of animal origin, thus obtaining a higher rating.

Animal Free Fashion it also assesses the environmental impact of a fashion brand's textile production. The use of toxic chemicals is harmful for the entire ecosystem and consequently also for the animal world: to obtain certification Animal Free Fashion these substances must be renounced, replacing them with others with a lower environmental impact.

  Look at the Technical documentation
  Search for articles related to Animal Free Fashion

Fur Free

Logo Fur Free by LAV
Type Application Objective Control body
NGO International Pets Self-certification

Fur Free is an international program launched by the Anti-Vivisection League (LAV) in collaboration with 40 other international organizations for the protection of animal rights, to which about 1000 companies including fashion brands and international retailers have joined.

The goal of the program Fur Free is to permanently eliminate the use of animal fur in the textile sector.

Fur is certainly the cruellest animal material of all, which is why the program Fur Free it is also having a lot of success among the big fashion brands.

  Look at the Technical documentation
  Search for articles related to Fur Free

Responsible Down Standard (RDS)

Responsible Down Standard (RDS) Logo
Type Application Objective Control body
Nonprofit International Pets External consortia

Il Responsible Down Standard (RDS) is a voluntary standard that deals with the welfare of geese, ducks, and other animals commonly raised for their feathers.

The goal is that the standard can be used to reward and influence the down and feather industry by encouraging practices that respect the humane treatment of ducks and geese.

This standard provides companies and consumers with a useful tool to know how their products were made.

  Look at the Technical documentation
  Search for articles related to RDS

Responsible Wool Standard (RWS)

Logo Responsible Wool Standard (RWS)
Type Application Objective Control body
Nonprofit International Pets External consortia

Il Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) is a voluntary standard that deals with the welfare of sheep and the land on which they graze.

  • Provide the industry with a tool to recognize farmer best practices.
  • Ensuring that the wool comes from farms that have a progressive approach to managing their land, practice holistic respect for the animal welfare of sheep and respect the Five Freedoms of animal welfare.
  • Ensure a strong chain of custody for certified materials as they move through the supply chain.
  Look at the Technical documentation
  Search for articles related to RWS

PETA

Logo Peta
Type Application Objective Control body
Nonprofit International Pets External consortia

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is a NO-PROFIT association that has been investigating and fighting internationally against violence suffered by animals for years.

Working on a global scale, it is certainly the best known certification, but also the first "cruelty free" in the textile sector. A positive note is its rapid evolution, even in Italy.

PETA it is based on self-certification and not on laboratory analyzes, but they are certainly very careful in selecting the fashion brands to be certified.

  Look at the Technical documentation
  Search for articles related to PETA

VeganOK

Logo VeganOK
Type Application Objective Control body
Brand Italy Pets External consortia

VeganOK is an Italian brand widely used in the food sector. It is possible to find this label in any supermarket and in any type of product.

Although little used in the textile sector, some fashion brands are starting to use it. The certification VeganOK it can be assigned through "tests" carried out by external bodies, but it is also possible to self-certify one's products as long as they comply with the UNI EN ISO 14021 standard.

The difference is in the type of certificate issued. A certification by external bodies (such as ICEA) certainly has more value than self-certification.

  Look at the Technical documentation
  Search for articles related to VeganOK

Certifications for organic

The certifications of biological origin are applicable only to clothing made of natural fibers: cotton, linen, hemp, silk, wool, leather.

It is therefore not possible to assign an BIO label to a product made with synthetic or artificial fibers.

Organic certifications in the clothing sector are increasingly in demand thanks above all to these advantages:

  • They are ecological products that have not polluted during production and that do not pollute the environment with subsequent washing and / or disposal of the product.
  • The absence (or scarce presence) of chemical substances harmful to humans avoids the onset of accumulation allergies.
  • Organic farming respects the rights of workers: an organic product is an ethical product.
  • Organic textile fibers give a different sensation to the touch, especially when worn in direct contact with the skin.
  • Organic clothing avoids annoying odors derived from sweat.

Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)

GOTS Certified Logo
Type Application Objective Control body
that you have International Biological, Environment, Social External consortia

Certification Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is a world leader in the definition of textile processing standards for organic fibers, and includes strict environmental and social criteria.

Environmental criteria include, for example, the assessment of all chemical inputs (pesticides, dyes, process chemicals) that must meet basic toxicity and biodegradability requirements.

The GOTS certification also takes into account the social aspect: the entire textile supply chain must meet minimum social criteria based on the rules established by the International Labor Organization.

The GOTS label certifies organic clothing in natural fabrics: linen, hemp, wool and organic cotton. In the textile sector it is one of the most important and sought after textile certifications of all.

  Look at the Technical documentation
  Search for articles related to GOTS

Organic Content Standard (SCO)

OCS Certified Logo
Type Application Objective Control body
NGO International Biological External consortia

Organic Content Standard (OCS) is a certificate issued by the international Textile Exchange (NGO), which guarantees that a certain percentage of Organic Cotton is present in the product: at least 95% organic cotton for the Organic 100 label, or 5% of organic cotton for the Organic Blended label.

Textile Exchange is an international charitable organization, which has been committed for years to expanding the use of organic farming around the world.

The label Organic Content Standard it exclusively concerns the validation of the content declared by the fashion companies, therefore it does not evaluate the social aspect.

The natural textile fibers used must come from organic farming and traceability must be followed throughout the entire production chain, passing through intermediate products, up to finished and marketed products.

  Look at the Technical documentation
  Search for OCS related articles

Asset recycling certifications

These textile certifications attest to the use of recycled material. More and more fashion companies are looking for this type of product, and more and more textile companies are developing innovative ideas to create future generations of textile yarns derived from:

  • Recycled plastic, certainly the most used element.
  • Fishing nets, industrial waste, carpets and rugs.
  • Food waste, such as oranges, grapes, apples, milk and corn.
  • Stocks of fabrics or other synthetic fibers otherwise destined for incinerators.

Plastica Seconda Vita (PSV)

Certification logo Plastica Seconda Vita
Type Application Objective Control body
Institute Italy Recycling External consortia

Certification Plastica Seconda Vita (PSV) is addressed to all companies that care about the health of the environment. We are talking about a wide range of products ranging from construction to textile materials, but also sunglasses, furniture, home products and packaging.

We can find this label in any product created with recycled plastic, but with a different identification logo depending on the product and the type of plastic used:

  • Plastic from separate collection.
  • Industrial waste plastic.
  • Differentiated / industrial mix.
  • Ecological pipe for pipes.
  • Food contact for plastics in contact with food.

Plastic Second Life is a useful tool for recognizing eco-sustainable products, and has been included in a ministerial decree to make purchases by public administrations greener.

  Look at the Technical documentation
  Search for PSV related articles

Global Recycle Standard (GRS)

Certified Logo Global Recycle Standard
Type Application Objective Control body
NGO International Recycling, Environment, Social External consortia

The international standard Global Recycle Standard (GRS) is managed by Textile Exchange (NGO) and is responsible for certifying fashion companies that produce clothing with certain quantities of recycled material.

These are the recyclable fabrics to which the label can be applied Global Recycle Standard:

  • Recycled cotton.
  • Recycled wool.
  • Recycled polyester.
  • Recycled polyamide.
  • Regenerated with leather fibers.

Global Recycle Standard it does not only take care of certifying the product, but also the manufacturing companies.

As with other certifications promoted by Textile Exchange, too Global Recycle Standard it is awarded to companies that respect very strict environmental rules, but also social rights throughout the production chain (exploitation, child labor, minimum wages, overtime, etc.).

  Look at the Technical documentation
  Search for articles related to GRS

ReMade in Italy

Certification logo ReMade in Italy
Type Application Objective Control body
Association Europe Recycling External consortia

Certification ReMade in Italy is an accredited certification that deals with the verification of the content of recycled material in a product and / or by-product. A traceability scheme compliant with the Procurement Code and the Minimum Environmental Criteria (CAM).

The product must be made, even partially, with material that comes from the recycling of waste or by-products. The certification ReMade in Italy it is applicable to any sector, to any material and also to products composed of different materials.

The verification has a documentary phase, with the sending of the documentation required by the Technical Regulations to the Certification Body, and a phase in the field, in the presence of the appointed Auditor.

A very interesting approach of this certification is the possibility of accessing a catalog divided by categories (fashion, building, furniture, toner, etc.) where it is possible to find sustainable materials. To use this service you need to register on the official website.

  Look at the Technical documentation
  Search for articles related to ReMade in Italy

These are only a small part of the available certifications, do you want to get the complete list of certifications with relative procedures? Find out how to get it!

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