Certification: making sense of fabric labels – Part 2

In my last blog – Certification: making sense of fabric labels Part 1 – I gave GOTS, OE 100 and Oeko-Tex Standard 100 a thumbs-up. If you see any of these on a label, it’s sustainable. But that’s not the whole story. You should also be able to trust any of the following:

Bluesign is an example of a wider standard which covers the entire supply chain. Any company or product awarded Bluesign Certification must show compliance with five sustainability principles.

Another stamp of approval I look for is Naturtextil Best, which ticks the boxes by assessing environmental and social criteria throughout textile industry supply chains. Accreditation means that only 100% certified organic fibres have been used; processing procedures (like bleaching or chlorination) have been restricted, hazardous substances such as formaldehyde, PCP or heavy metals have been avoided; and tests on the final product have been concluded satisfactorily. In addition, the UN’s International Labour Organisation’s conventions have been adopted and living wages paid.

Anyone buying a rug or carpet should look out for Goodweave certification. This tells you that children were not exploited in making the product. :

If you are going to use cotton, look for This tells you that environmental responsibility and fair working practices have been checked out and that only organic cotton is being used.

Also among the good guys is SAAS, who evaluate auditing organisations, to make sure they hold their clients accountable for social and labour standards.  For anyone who wants organic-only products, ‘OCS’ is the label to look for. Organic Content Standard certification verifies that organic standards have been met every step of the way.

Let’s pull back now to look at the bigger picture. If you see that a business is a ‘B-Corp’, this means it has committed to a new way of doing business, serving society and the environment rather than just shareholders. Personally, I’d trust any B Corporation to have its heart in the right place.

Another useful guide is Sourcemap. They run an online platform on which producers share detailed information about their processes with buyers and consumers. It’s a great example of supply chain transparency. A Sourcemap ecolabel carries information about products and their origins and sometimes (but not always) their environmental and social footprints.

In this and my previous blog I have touched on social and environmental standards I trust. For a full overview, visit: