18 Sustainable Fashion Certifications (2024)

Sustainable Fashion Certifications list

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There is so much greenwashing happening out there, especially in the fashion industry, making it hard to trust brands and be skeptical when they say they are ‘’sustainable’’.

Because of this, certain organizations thoroughly asses and evaluate brands using specific criteria. This criteria often covers aspects like environmental impact, social responsibility, and ethical sourcing.

So, which certifications to look for, when looking for a sustainable clothing brand?

Here’s a quick list of some of the trustworthy certifications in the sustainable fashion industry along with a brief explanation of each: 

  1. Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS): Ensures that textiles are made from organic fibers and have met strict environmental and social criteria throughout the entire production process.
  2. Fair Trade Certified: Guarantees that the workers involved in producing the clothing were paid fair wages and worked in safe conditions. 
  3. B Corporation (B Corp): Verifies that a company meets rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
  4. Global Recycled Standard (GRS): Ensures that a product contains a minimum percentage of recycled material. 
  5. Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC): Focuses on environmental and social sustainability throughout the apparel supply chain, providing tools for companies to measure and improve their sustainability performance. 
  6. Fair Wear Foundation (FWF): Verifies that clothing brands are implementing fair labor practices and working to improve conditions for workers in their supply chains.
  7. 1% for the Planet: Verifies that a company donates 1% of its annual sales to approved environmental nonprofit organizations, supporting environmental causes.
  8. Better Cotton Initiative (BCI): Promotes using more sustainable cotton farming practices, reducing water and chemical use, and improving workers’ welfare.
  9. STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®: Ensures that textile products have been tested for harmful substances, are safe for human health & comply with strict environmental and social criteria. 

Alright, to learn more about each certification + 9 more, and find certified brands, keep reading! 

Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS): 

Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)

Overview: GOTS is a leading and globally recognized certification for organic textiles. It ensures textiles are made from organic fibers and meet strict environmental and social criteria throughout the production process. 

Features: GOTS-certified products must contain a minimum percentage of organic fibers, meet criteria for sustainable processing, and have restrictions on the use of harmful chemicals & dyes. The certification also requires compliance with social criteria, such as fair wages and safe working conditions for employees. 

How they audit the brands: GOTS conducts on-site inspections and audits of textile processing facilities to ensure compliance with their standards. They also review documentation and conduct interviews with workers to assess social criteria. 

Impact: Promotes sustainable and ethical practices in the textile industry, reducing the environmental impact of production and improving working conditions for workers.

Certified brands: Patagonia, EILEEN FISHER, People Tree, Pact, Kotn, Thought Clothing

Fair Trade Certified: 

Fair Trade Certified

Overview: Fair Trade Certification ensures that products are sourced from producers who meet social, economic, and environmental standards. It aims to empower farmers and workers in developing countries by promoting fair wages, safe working conditions, and sustainable practices.

Features: Fair Trade Certified products must adhere to rigorous standards that address labor rights, sustainability, and community development initiatives.

How they audit the brands: Fair Trade Certification involves on-site inspections, interviews with workers, and documentation review to ensure compliance with their standards. They also engage in ongoing monitoring and evaluation to track progress and address any issues. 

Impact: Fair Trade Certification promotes social and economic justice by supporting marginalized producers and workers. It helps lift communities out of poverty, empowers women, and promotes sustainability.

Certified brands: People Tree, Thought Clothing, Indigenous, Patagonia, prAna, Pact, Kotn

B Corporation (B Corp): 

B Corporation (B Corp)
tentree shirt + my tentree review

Overview: Requires companies to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. It evaluates a company’s impact on workers, customers, the community, and the environment.

Features: B Corps balances profit with purpose, considering the impact of its decisions on stakeholders. They prioritize social and environmental responsibility alongside financial success, using business as a force for good.

How they audit the brands: B Corp certification involves a comprehensive assessment of a company’s operations, management, and impact. This includes completing the B Impact Assessment, providing evidence of socially and environmentally responsible practices, and meeting various legal requirements. 

Impact: B Corps drives positive change by adopting sustainable business practices, supporting their communities, and transparently communicating their impact. 

Certified brands: Patagonia, Allbirds, EILEEN FISHER, tentree

Global Recycled Standard (GRS): 

Global Recycled Standard (GRS)

Overview: GRS is an international certification that verifies the use of recycled content in products. It ensures responsible social, environmental, and chemical practices throughout the supply chain.

Features: GRS promotes the use of recycled materials, reducing the demand for virgin resources and diverting waste from landfills. It sets criteria for the traceability and integrity of recycled content, as well as for environmental and social practices.

How they audit the brands: Brands seeking GRS certification undergo a thorough assessment of their supply chains to verify the origins and composition of recycled materials. Auditors evaluate compliance with GRS criteria, including environmental impact and social responsibility.

Impact: GRS-certified products contribute to resource conservation and waste reduction by utilizing recycled materials. The certification also encourages transparency and responsible practices, promoting a more sustainable approach to manufacturing. 

Certified brands: Patagonia, REI, Outerknown

Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC): 

Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC)

Overview: SAC is an industry-wide initiative focused on improving the environmental and social impacts of apparel and footwear products. It provides tools and resources to measure and improve sustainability throughout the supply chain.

Features: SAC developed the Higg Index, a comprehensive suite of examination tools that enables brands, retailers, and manufacturers to measure and benchmark their sustainability performance. It covers environmental impacts such as water use, energy consumption, and chemical management, as well as social aspects like labor practices and workers’ well-being.

How they audit the brand: Brands use the Higg Index tools to conduct self-assessments or third-party verifications of their sustainability practices.  

Impact: By implementing SAC tools and practices, fashion brands can identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions to reduce their environmental footprint and enhance social responsibility.  

Certified brands: Allbirds, Everlane, Patagonia

Fair Wear Foundation (FWF): 

Fair Wear Foundation (FWF)

Overview: FWF is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving labor conditions in the garment and textile industry. It works with brands, factories, unions, and NGOs to promote fair labor practices and ensure safe, healthy working environments for workers.

Features: FWF is a non-profit organization that focuses on verifying and enhancing labor standards in garment factories. It provides brands with guidance and support to implement codes of conduct, conduct factory audits, and remediate labor issues. It facilitates transparency by publishing annual performance reports in the global garment and textile industry.  

How they audit the brands: FWF conducts factory audits and assessments to evaluate compliance with labor standards, including fair wages, reasonable working hours, and safe working conditions. 

Impact: FWF strives to create positive change in the garment industry by promoting ethical sourcing practices and empowering workers. 

Certified brands: Armed Angels, Nudie Jeans, Jack Wolfskin, Vaude

1% for the Planet:

1% for the Planet

Overview: 1% for the Planet is a global movement that encourages businesses and individuals to contribute at least 1% of their annual sales or income to environmental causes. Founded by Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, owner of Blue Ribbon Flies, the organization aims to create a healthier planet by supporting environmental nonprofits and initiatives. 

Features: Participating businesses pledge to donate 1% of their annual revenue to approved environmental organizations. These contributions support projects focused on conservation, climate action, biodiversity, sustainable agriculture, and more. The organization provides a platform for businesses to connect with certified nonprofits and track their contributions transparently. 

How they audit the brands: 1% for the Planet does not conduct audits in the traditional sense. Instead, participating businesses voluntarily commit to donating a portion of their sales or income to environmental causes. To ensure transparency and accountability, businesses are required to report their contributions annually through the organization’s online platform. Certified nonprofits are responsible for implementing projects and initiatives funded by these donations.

Impact: Since its inception in 2002, 1% for the Planet has facilitated over $300 million in donations to environmental nonprofits worldwide. These contributions have supported thousands of projects aimed at protecting natural ecosystems, combating climate change, promoting sustainable agriculture, etc.

Certified brands: Patagonia, Prana, Indigenous

Better Cotton Initiative (BCI): 

Better Cotton Initiative (BCI)

Overview: BCI is a global non-profit organization that aims to transform cotton production worldwide by promoting more sustainable practices. It works with cotton farmers, industry stakeholders, and environmental organizations. The goal is to promote the adoption of better farming practices and improve the social and environmental impacts of cotton cultivation.

Features: BCI provides training and support to cotton farmers to help them reduce their use of harmful pesticides and water, promote soil health and biodiversity, and improve working conditions. It also facilitates the traceability of Better Cotton from farm to market, ensuring transparency and accountability in the cotton supply chain. 

How they audit the brands: BCI conducts regular assessments and audits of cotton farms to verify compliance with its sustainability standards. Brands that source Better Cotton can track their purchases and demonstrate their commitment to sustainable sourcing practices.

Impact: BCI contributes to reducing the environmental footprint of cotton cultivation, conserving water resources, and improving livelihoods in cotton-growing communities. Its efforts help create a more sustainable future for the cotton industry and promote responsible production. 

Certified brands: Levi Strauss & Co



Overview: A worldwide certification system for textiles and related materials. It aims to ensure that textile products are free from harmful substances and safe for human health and the environment. The certification covers all stages of production, from raw materials to finished products.

Features: Products undergo rigorous testing for harmful substances, including pesticides, heavy metals, and allergenic dyes. The certification sets strict limits on the use of such substances and requires regular testing and quality control measures to maintain compliance. 

How they audit the brands: OEKO-TEX® conducts comprehensive testing and evaluation of textile products to verify compliance with its criteria. Brands must submit samples of their products for testing at accredited laboratories. 

Impact: The certification encourages responsible manufacturing practices and helps reduce the environmental and health risks associated with textile production. 

Quick list with 9 more:

  1. Cradle to Cradle Certified: Evaluates products based on their environmental and social performance across five categories. 
  2. Global Recycled Standard (GRS): Verifies the use of recycled content in products and ensures responsible social, environmental, and chemical practices throughout the production process.
  3. Textile Exchange: Promotes using sustainable fibers and materials, through standards, certifications, and industry collaborations.
  4. Soil Association Organic Standard: Ensures that textiles are made from organic fibers and meet strict environmental and social criteria & the absence of harmful chemicals.
  5. Carbon Trust Certification: Verifies the carbon footprint of products and companies, helping them measure, manage, and reduce their carbon emissions.
  6. Bluesign® System: Evaluate the environmental impact of materials, chemicals, and processes used in textile production, ensuring safe and sustainable practices.
  7. Green Seal Certification: Assesses products and companies based on their environmental performance, including energy efficiency, resource conservation, and waste reduction. 
  8. Fairtrade Cotton Standard: Ensures that cotton farmers receive fair prices for their crops and work under safe conditions, promoting sustainable livelihoods and community development.
  9. Climate Neutral Certified: Climate Neutral Certified brands measure, offset, and reduce their carbon emissions to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to climate change mitigation. 
Sustainable Fashion Certifications list

A quick note – 

It’s essential to note that there are many ethical brands out there that, due to their smaller size or limited resources, may not be able to afford official certifications. However, this does not necessarily mean a lack of commitment to sustainability and ethical practices.

Many small, self-funded brands prioritize transparency and openly share information about their environmental and social impacts on their websites. By taking the time to explore these brands’ websites, you can often find detailed information about their sourcing, production processes, labor practices, and any sustainability initiatives they support.

Examples of brands that are sustainable without certifications: By Alja Horvat, Whimsy + Row, Able Clothing


So there you have it; a list of 18 top certifications in a sustainable fashion to help you navigate the eco-friendly landscape and make it less overwhelming to know which ones to trust. 🙂

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