We were so excited to announce our gorgeous new arrivals from Skunkfunk, all 100% GOTS certified, we forgot to take a step back and lay out what this even means to our community! This got us thinking about all the buzzwords and certifications in the ethical fashion industry that many are unaware of. Fair Trade, B Corp, STeP... how are you ever supposed to trust a brand certification if you aren’t even really sure what it means?!
We’ve broken down 5 common certifications you’ve probably seen on the web, in the news, or stamped on one of your favorite fashion finds, to give you a well rounded understanding of what they mean, and why it’s beneficial for brands to have them. Each certification costs hundreds, even thousands of dollars, and can sometimes take years to obtain due to each step of the production process being critically observed and analysed. Why we love these certifications: brands that go through these processes showcase how truly dedicated they are to transparency, human rights and environmental action. When your values match those of your favorite brands, that’s when you know something truly special is happening in the industry, and it’s only growing more prioritized by brands all around the world day by day.
You’ve probably seen this one before. It is one of the more popular certifications and a conscious consumer favorite. A Fair Trade certification (different from fairtrade - hence, an organization may not be certified if not capitalized and separated into two words), is a process that evaluates the social, economical and environmental standards of an organization. Fair Trade certifications can be applied to all industries, mostly seen in consumable products, and is now becoming more relevant in fashion.
A World Fair Trade Organization certificate is similar to a Fair Trade certification, but with even more love. A WFTO certification not only analyzes the ethical practices along a company’s supply chain, but also represents and supports the battle against poverty and inequality. WFTO actively works to connect disadvantaged people with organizations with just business ethics to ensure that more people are economically empowered worldwide. How amazing is that?!
“People Using Business as a Force for Good”
A Certified B Corporation is a company that leads with social and environmental priorities - pre, during and post sale. When a company is B Corp certified, this means that they meet high standards of accountability, performance and transparency that puts people and the planet first. Now, isn’t that how we should have always been doing business?
The Global Organic Textile Standard is the world’s leading standard for organic fibres. To obtain a GOTS certification, the textile used must be made up of no less than 70% organic fibres. Standards for the certification includes a set list of chemical inputs that can be used, such as specific dyes, and must meet strict toxicological criteria, helping eliminate the amount of synthetic and toxic elements being unnecessarily added to our clothing. Our mantra: ff you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin!
The Sustainable Textile Production certification is a system setup for brands, retail companies, and manufacturers in textile production to showcase their sustainable manufacturing processes. Going through the STeP certification process allows for a comprehensive analyses of chemical management, environmental performance and management, occupational health and safety, social responsibility and quality management, therefore providing a transparent and credible overview for consumers.