Ecofair Fashion: Understanding Textile Standards

As I prepare a series of slow fashion/ eco-fair fashion posts, I thought it would be a good idea to discuss textile standards most useful for the eco-ethical consumer’s needs.

Fair and green are nice words, but as we all know, in the end they are just that – words. To not fall for some greenwashing, an ethical consumer and the ethical brand alike have to watch out for and to meet specific standards respectively.

It also should go without saying that by buying vegan fashion we are not automatically supporting an environmentally friendly or a socially responsible company.

And these are the most helpful labels that I personally look for:

1. Top independent standards for natural fibres, regulating ecology and social responsibility:
GOTS 4.0
IVN Best / Naturtextil Best (in Germany)

2. Top standards for natural fibres, regulating ecology and social responsibility, established by brands:
Earth Positive (Berlin-based)
bioRe (Switzerland)
Respect Code (Switzerland)

3. A good standard for synthetic fibres (outdoor clothing, hosiery):

4. Top standards exclusively designed to regulate socially responsible production:
Fair Wear Foundation
Made By
Fair Trade

5. Rather basic standards for natural fibres, regulating ecology but not so much social responsibility:
Öko-Tex Made in Green
Textile Exchange

Further, there are other, weaker or not very transparent standards that I don’t rely on and thus, don’t plan to discuss:
Cradle to cradle – their toxin regulations and audit rules are kind of a black box as of now (May 2015);
OE 100 Standard – focuses on ecological issues only, not on the social topics;
EU Ecolabel – not the strongest standard, eco-ethical requirements are better covered with those listed in paragraphs 1-3 above;
Blauer Engel – a specific eco-ethical regulation for recycled fibres, however right now (May 2015) there are no textile brands registered with.

Time to spring-cleanse the wardrobe completely, isn’t it? 😉

textile-standards-eco-fair-fashionDo you check your clothes for any of the above?
Do you possess GOTS, Fair Wear or IVN certified garments?


Geeking out about all things truly green, healthy and ethical over at (Avatar illustration by A. Goncharenko)

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