sustainability standards and certifications
sustainability standards and certifications
sustainability standards and certifications


Sustainable Business

Sustainability Standards & Certifications For Fashion

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Sustainability standards and certifications are tools to prove that a company respects environmental issues. They are crucial for transparency, allowing consumers to purchase a product or garment with more trust in a brand that states they’re committed to eco-consciousness.

In this way, sustainability standards and certifications for fashion guarantee a company’s transparency concerning its sustainable and eco-conscious discourse. In this article, you can better understand their importance in the fight against greenwashing. Keep reading!

The Importance Of Sustainability Standards And Certifications 

According to Banana Link, these standards are “voluntary, usually third party-assessed, norms and standards relating to environmental, social, ethical and food safety issues. They are adopted by companies to demonstrate the performance of their organizations or products in specific areas.” There are over 400 such standards across the world.

Being a sustainable brand goes far beyond adopting a color palette in green and earthy tones. To ensure the commitment to the ecosystem, sustainability standards and certifications are responsible for certifying if the actions of a particular company are healthy for the environment. 

Statista says that larger firms are more likely to attain certification to an environmental sustainability standard. “37 percent of companies with over 100 workers had such a certificate, while only 5 percent of firms with fewer than 5 workers had attained such a status.”

After all, entrepreneurs who want to strengthen their brand and keep up with the new consumers’ demands must demonstrate their socioenvironmental concerns. A Statista research surveyed 1,028 people from the United States aged 16 and over. It showed that 20% of 16-to-29-year-olds stated they were boycotting a fashion brand or store due to insufficient sustainability policies.


Certificates are crucial to combating greenwashing. Some companies use sustainable talk to create a better public image, but don’t truly commit to the cause. Because of that, this attitude is harmful to the fight against degrading products for the environment.

The largest barrier to sustainable investing in 2020 and 2021 was greenwashing, and research confirms it. According to Statista, “more than half of the institutional investors worldwide from the survey indicated greenwashing as the main barrier. Lack of transparency and reported data was mentioned as the second largest barrier, by 53 percent of respondents in 2021.”

Therefore, consumers must pay attention to eco-responsible certifications, so that they are not consuming a product that goes against their principles. Greenwashing is one of the reasons transparency becomes an essential feature for products every day, especially in the fashion industry.

A Guide For  Sustainability Standards And Certifications 

Global Organic Textile Standards

GOTS was established in 2002, during a conference in Düsseldorf. They have more than 10 thousand companies located in 72 countries. According to their official website, “GOTS draws on the advice of, and input from, other relevant international stakeholder organizations and experts for regular standard updates.”

Certified B Corporation

The B-Corp Certificate certifies the companies that respect the standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and legal responsibility. According to them, these companies “build trust with consumers, communities, and suppliers; attract and retain employees; and draw mission-aligned investors.”

Fairtrade International

According to Oxford Languages, Fairtrade is a “trade between companies in developed countries and producers in developing countries in which fair prices are paid to the producers.” In this way, Fairtrade International ensures that producers, exporters and importers are following the rules. 

ISO Textile Certifications 

There are a few types of International Organization for Standardization. For instance, ISO 9001 provides a distinct signal to students that make ISO-quality management for the industries that indulge in the textile market. ISO 9002 is for companies that produce and distribute their products or services.  


People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals organization designs this certificate. It verifies that some companies “do not conduct or commission any animal tests on ingredients, formulations, or finished products and that they pledge not to do so in the future.”

Global Fashion Agenda

Global Fashion Agenda is a non-profit organization that fosters industry collaboration on sustainability in fashion to drive impact. This certificate concerns transparency in the supply chain and safe work environments. Also, as they say on their website, Global Fashion Agenda is “on a mission to mobilize, inspire, influence and educate all stakeholders.”


It certifies that textile products are safe for the environment, workers and customers and applies to chemicals, processes, materials, and products. 

By the way, we had the pleasure to have Bluesign‘s CEO Jill Dumain in our previous events on the panel Supply Chain & Transparency.

According to Dumain, brands no longer have the choice to stray away from sustainability and transparency. To sum up, these two words are becoming the driving force behind customer behavior. “Once you see the faces of each individual, it’s no longer just a country or a factory… it’s human beings and they are all a part of the supply chain.

Like this article? Then you must read this one: 5 Reasons Why Sustainable Fashion Is on Trend.



Júlia Dara

Content Producer

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Júlia Dara

Content Producer

read 3 min

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