The Textile Certifications Every Brand Needs to Know About

The Textile Certifications Every Brand Needs to Know About

Fortunately, there are a variety of certifications that have been created either by governments or by industry-leading companies and organizations to help the textile industry clean up its act. Here are 5 of the most important certifications any sustainability-conscious brand needs to know about.   
1) Better Cotton Initiative (BCI)
Better Cotton Initiative | https://bettercotton.org/about-bci/ | was created in order to respond to the impacts of cotton production on the environment and the labor used to produce it. They seek to make production better for the people involved, by working to improve livelihoods and promote economic development. They are also trying to reduce the environmental impact of producing cotton. 
In order to achieve this mission of improving the environmental and social impacts of cotton, BCI works with a variety of stakeholders across the supply chain. Their efforts are helping to promote more ethical and sustainable cotton worldwide.  
2) Bluesign
This certification system is built on finding the most sustainable inputs for manufacturing | http://www.tortoiseandladygrey.com/2018/10/17/textile-certifications-indicate-sustainable-production-fabrics/ |, and tracks the degree of sustainability through to the finished product. The Bluesign standard includes five principles for assessing the sustainability of a textile: resource productivity; consumer safety; water emissions; air emission, and occupational health and safety. 
3) Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)
The GOTS Organic | https://www.global-standard.org/the-standard.html | certification standard requires at least 95% organic material in the finale textile or other product, mandating a great deal of environmental protection as well as labor protection for the people involved in growing and harvesting the crops. There is also a lower-level form, GOTS Made With Organic, that requires at least 70% organic. 
An additional requirement of this certification system is that chemicals used in processing textile fibers must be low-impact and renewable. This requirement extends to the dyes used as well, and any chemical processing deemed unnecessary must be removed. 
4) BioPreferred 
BioPreferred | https://www.biopreferred.gov/BioPreferred/faces/pages/AboutBioPreferred.xhtml | is a certification system offered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a way of encouraging both consumers and manufacturers to prefer biodegradable bio-based products and materials rather than relying on petrochemicals, which are not renewable. 
This certification standard is applicable to many consumer and industrial products, including textiles but also fertilizers, household cleaning products, inks, and others. A BioPreferred-certified textile is one that has been made from biobased content, that is to say renewable plant resources. 
5) Programme for the Endorsement of Forestry Certification (PEFC) 
PEFC | https://www.pefc.org/ | is a certification standard for forestry. A PEFC-certified product is guaranteed to be made from timber and woodstock from forests that have been sustainably managed. 
This certification is particularly important since so many textiles are now being made from woodstock. This trend is itself part of the shift away from non-renewable materials, so the PEFC standard is important for making sure that the textiles in question have been produced sustainably and do not contribute to deforestation. 
Conclusion
With the encouragement of governments and key actors within and outside the industry, textile manufacturers are working to clean up their act. These 5 certifications provide manufacturers with means of signaling their own commitment to sustainability and social responsibility. 

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