Ethical Fashion Labelling

We list ethical certification schemes that you can trust. 

Seeking certified organic and fairly traded clothing is an easy way to avoid the confusion posed by the term ‘sustainable fabrics’. But ethical clothing is often adorned with a range of positive sounding labels that are not always easy to understand.

This may include a clothing label that just says ‘organic’ or ‘fair trade’ without any further information or evidence of independent accreditation or certification. Here are the most commonly used labels and their highlights.

Logo: Soil Association

Organic

The Soil Association certifies clothing to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), an international standard. A textile product carrying the GOTS label 'organic' must contain a minimum of 95% certified organic fibres, whereas a product with the label 'made with organic' must contain a minimum of 70% certified organic fibres.

Plus the label guarantees that the garment isn't made with any genetically modified products.

Some social standards are also incorporated into GOTS standards for all textile processing and manufacturing stages. For example, no forced or child labour is used and workers are paid a living wage.  
 

Logo: Fairtrade Labelling Organisation

FAIRTRADE Cotton Program mark (company mark)

This mark from the Fairtrade Labelling Organisation (FLO) can be used by companies on textile products or garments which contain an agreed percentage of Fairtrade-certified cotton.

This might range from 10% to 100% of the cotton used in their overall supply chains and is different from the Fairtrade mark because it applies to a company not a product.

Logo: Fairtrade

FAIRTRADE (product) mark

The Fairtrade mark is issued by the Fairtrade Labelling Organisation (FLO).

Whenever you see the FAIRTRADE mark on a garment it means that the cotton has been sourced from a Fairtrade-certified producer organisation.

It’s also been produced in a registered supply chain where there’s full traceability of the cotton at every stage of a garment’s production from the spinning of the cotton to assembly of the finished item. This mark also excludes the use of GMO cotton.

Logo: World Fair Trade Organisation

WFTO Fair Trade Organization Mark (company mark)

The World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) is another fair trade labelling organisation, separate to FLO (above). A garment carrying the WFTO Fair Trade Organization Mark shows that the company which makes the garment has successfully passed the WFTO Guarantee System process.

This is an audit of the company’s entire supply chain according to the WFTO Fair Trade Standard, with criteria based on the 10 Fair Trade Principles and International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions.

The WFTO label doesn’t guarantee a certified product, but signifies that a company is making efforts to improve working conditions in its supply chain.
  

Logo: Fair Wear Foundation

Fair Wear (company mark)

Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) is an independent, non-profit organisation that works with companies and factories to improve labour conditions for garment workers. FWF members agree to work towards implementation of the FWF Code of Labour Practices and to having all their factories independently monitored.

The FWF code comprises eight labour standards based on ILO Conventions and the UN’s Declaration on Human Rights. MUD Jeans and Nudie jeans are both listed as members.

The FWF label doesn’t guarantee a certified product, but signifies that a company is making efforts to improve working conditions in its supply chain and has at least 90% of its factories under monitoring.

Start your 30 day trial today!

Ethics made easy - comprehensive, simple to use, transparent and reliable ethical rankings. Subscribe today for a wealth of data at your fingertips.

We will take payment when you order, but you can cancel by phone or email within 30 days for a full no-questions-asked refund!

Start your 30 day trial today!