Oh fashion so fair! Resuming the ‘Understanding Textile Standards’ series, today we’ll have a look at the eco-fair fashion’s strictest standard: IVN BEST, and some of their certified brands.
In the past, we did talk about textile standards in general, and about two of the most important independent standards in particular: GOTS for natural textiles except leather, and Bluesign for synthetics.
We’ve also covered Fairwear for the regulations of fair wages – and it’s worth noticing that GOTS and Bluesign (and IVN) have strict rules for working conditions and workplace safety in place as well – but we’ve saved the best for last.
IVN BEST, that is.
Understanding IVN and BEST
As you might remember, textile standards fall into two categories: independent and manufacturer owned. Obviously, independent standards are generally much more reliable.
Responsible for sustainability standards for leather and textiles made of natural fibers, IVN’s BEST standard – where IVN is the German abbreviation of “International Association of Natural Textile Industry” – is the strictest of the most important independent standards. As the strict standard it is, it’s also much less widespread than GOTS.
Now what is the IVN? It’s a business association of some 100 member companies from all stages of manufacturing – suppliers, manufacturers, stores and mail order companies. Ecology and social responsibility as well as transparency about consumer safety and health are at the heart of their work. IVN is also the co-owner of the GOTS standard.
What’s in it for You?
IVN BEST is the strictest standard in terms of sustainable, eco-friendly and socially responsible criteria.
Other than GOTS, BEST standard does include leather. Thus, BEST is a label particularly interesting if you – or your friends – want to shop eco-fair clothes but are not willing to give up wearing leather. With IVN BEST labelled leather, you can be certain to buy a toxin-free product that was produced in a sustainable way. Also, only leather of animals kept with the aim to produce meat is allowed; savage and threatened animals are excluded. This is obviously not saving any animals, but at least you can be sure no dogs were slaughtered in a faraway backyard and skinned alive for your pair of shoes.
Unfortunately though, in the moment, I was only able to find one furniture company (Ecopell) and one brand of baby shoes (Lieblinge) among BEST-leather-certified brands. Do you have favourite leather clothes or accessories brands? Try and suggest they green up and get their BEST on![Image: Cotonea IVN info booklet]
Now, where do you find BEST-certified clothes?