Sustainability, ethical and responsible practices and ecological matters are important topics, now more than ever. Fashion sustainability is important so we can leave the planet in a better condition than we found it. To help with transparency and make sure that practices are in line with these values, different kinds of certifications are here to help you get a clear picture of a brand's sustainability and to make better decisions easier.
In this article we'll go through a few of the most common sustainability and responsibility certifications used in the fashion industry and how these certifications are represented in our product selection.
The certifications you’ll be learning about in this article are...
GOTS - Global Organic Textile Standard
The Global Organic Textile Standard aka GOTS is a certificate that focuses on the use of organic fibres in a textile. It also measures the ecological, chemical and ethical aspects of textiles and their production.
GOTS is a third party certificate, which means that an audit by independent Certification Bodies is always required to get the certificate. GOTS has created an approval process for the third party Certification Bodies and they are constantly monitored.
There are two different types of GOTS labels. The basis is the GOTS label. The second type is a GOTS organic label.
For the GOTS label the product needs to have 70% certified organic fibres. To get the GOTS organic label, the product needs to have at least 95% organic fiber. The remaining 30% or 5% can be non-organic or synthetic fibre.
Besides the organic fibres, the GOTS evaluates environmental and social criteria of the processing and manufacturing. This means that to get the GOTS label, these standards need to be met. This criteria includes for example…
- Using only approved colorants
- Environmental wastewater treatment
- No chlorine, no formaldehyde, no heavy metals
- No use of child labour
- ILO labour standards need to be obeyed
Gugguu's patterned light jersey products, patterned soft fleece products, patterned caps and hats and knitted cotton products are made with organic cotton that has the GOTS Organic label. You can read more about the GOTS standard here.
Oeko-tex 100 standard
Oeko-tex 100 standard is an international textile certification that ensures the safety of materials. The standard makes sure that the textile article doesn't include any harmful substances such as pesticide residue, heavy metal or formaldehyde. The goal is to achieve products that are not harmful to human health.
The criteria varies between product classes. Based on these classes, the products need to fulfill different criterias to get the certificate. The classes are...
- Class: The strictest requirements are in this class. It includes products for babies.
- Class: The second highest criteria are for products that are in direct contact with skin. Products that are included in this category are underwear, shirts etc.
- Class: The third class includes products that are not in direct skin contact. Jackets and accessories like belts are included in this class.
- Class: The lowest criteria is in class 4. Class 4 products include products not used on the body, like home decoration textiles such as throw pillows and curtains.
The certification is reviewed yearly and the criteria is always updated based on new information and research to ensure up-to-date safety measures. The tests to get the Oeko-tex standard are conducted by neutral and independent testing institutes.
All of Gugguu's products are made with materials that have the Oeko-Tex 100 standard.
Global Recycled Standard - GRS
The Global Recycled Standard is a certification that evaluates recycled content, and social, environmental and chemical practices. GRS has a set of criteria and requirements for third-party, neutral audits. The certification was created by Control Union Certifications in 2008.
The focus of GRS is verifying the amount of recycled materials in a product, which means they check that the materials are what they are claimed to be. GRS also evaluates working conditions and environmental and chemical impacts. The aim is to increase the use of recycled materials in products and at the same time minimise the possible harms caused by production, all while increasing the transparency of companies to help customers make more informed decisions.
The minimum requirement to get the Global Recycle Standard is that a product contains 20% recycled materials. Instead of auditing just the actual product, GRS tracks the full process from the actual recycling to the actual B2B sale. This ensures that not only the product is what it is, but also that the processes and manufacturing live up to the criteria.
When a product has the Global Recycled Standard, you can be sure that the workers have had good working conditions and the production process is environmentally friendly.
Gugguu's silky wrap skirts and wrap dresses, patterned swimwear and track jackets and pants have the Global Recycled Standard. All of these products are made with 100% recycled materials.
Founded in 2000, BLUESIGN® is an international system for the textile industry that focuses on safety and sustainability all the way from working conditions to the final product. This means that the use of chemicals (both in terms of safety for the end customer and waste management) and other materials is traced to ensure safe and environmental use. They advocate for traceability and transparency in the textile industry. All of this is done so that the textile companies all over the world can reduce the use of harmful chemicals, water and power in their processes.
The BLUESIGN® mission is to minimise the environmental impact of textiles and bring more transparency to the industry. The goal is to bring safety to both production and to the end customer.
Gugguu's outerwears’ top fabric and track jackets and pants are produced by a BLUESIGN® system partner.
Gugguu - Ethical and sustainable children's clothing
Sustainability and safety have been important values for Gugguu ever since the company was founded in 2012. We’ve always done the best we can and kept looking for new, better ways to both make our actions as responsible as possible but also to communicate these matters better to ensure more transparency. In 2020 we published our first responsibility report, which you can read here. After this we’ve already…
- Increased our use of organic cotton by switching our patterned light jersey products’ material from 92% cotton / 8% elastane to 95% organic cotton / 5% elastane and our patterned cotton summer hats and caps from 100% cotton to 100% organic cotton
- Increased our use of recycled materials by switching our patterned swimwear from 82% polyamide / 18% elastane to 80% recycled polyester / 20% recycled elastane
- Improved the waste management at our warehouse to include more recycling, including plastic recycling
- Started co-operation with Home Street Home charity organization in Kenya
- Reached level B in the Rank a Brand criteria
- Gotten featured on the Good on You- directory with a rating “Good”
We’ll keep improving as we keep learning and finding new ways to do things.