Certifications can be confusing. It's easy to combine a bunch of letters and slap it with a sustainable or ethical label, so we did the research for you. These are common certifications brands carry that are certified by legitimate third-party associations and do carry ethical and sustainable weight.
- FSC The Forest Stewardship Council is an international organization that promotes responsible management of the world's forests, focusing on ensuring responsibly sourced wood that meets strict ethical guidelines for laborers.
- BCI The Better Cotton Initiative is the world's largest cotton sustainability program in the world, incorporating manufacturers, brands, retailers, farmers, ginners, spinners, and suppliers into their processes. The initiative works to educate farmers on more sustainable farming processes, increasing yields and financial security. Monitoring soil and water management, the initiative works to transform the cotton sector to meet our new sustainable future.
- Fair Trade Fair Trade is an ethical accreditation that guarantees brands ensure safe working conditions, workers' rights, and fair pay. Fair Trade protects traditionally less developed or growing countries while attempting to decrease the inequalities between themselves and buyers and manufacturers monopolizing in developed countries. Social premiums paid by buyers go directly to the producer groups of the goods, allowing them to direct exactly where the funds go, often into community initiatives such as schools, farming equipment, or water projects.
- GOTS The Global Organic Textile Standard monitors textile processing manufacturing, packaging, labeling, trading, and distribution of textiles. Brands seeking this certification must use at least 70% organic fibers, therefore minimizing pesticide and water use. The organic nature of the products is inherently more environmentally friendly due to the minimal chemical use. GOTS also considers social and humanitarian criteria, as GOTS-certified units must adhere to the bylaws of the International Labor Organization and a separate internal audit done by GOTS.
- OEKO-TEX Oeko-Tex is an international textile and fabric certification that audits chemicals used in manufacturing throughout the entire supply process, helping ensure sustainable production practices. Oeko-Tex offers a variety of different certifications depending on the product type, which can be further explained on their website.
- GOLS The Global Organic Latex Standard is a material and processing standard for organic latex. The certification considers human welfare, as well as environmental welfare during the manufacturing process.
- Organic materials can be certified in multiple ways. In the US, the USDA organic certification is the most common and weighty. Organic products often require less water use, minimizing resource impact, as well as protecting soil health by minimizing the use of pesticides and fertilizers.