What are labels used for in the textile industry?

On Klow, to select our brands, we set up a transparency audit, which favours the use of organic or fair trade labels. Discover the list of the labels to privilege and how at Klow, we rely on labels to select organic, ethical and responsible clothes sold on our e-shop!

Do you know how clothes are made?  

Under payment and disastrous conditions for workers, pollution, use of chemicals harmful to the planet and to our health. At present, the situation of the textile industry is far from ideal. Faced with such a situation, some brands are working daily to revolutionize the world of fashion.

 In order to guide consumers towards more conscious and ethical consumption, as well as in a demand for transparency on the part of companies, some organisations have set up labels. These highlight brands that act in a more ethical and sustainable way, and on the contrary, sanction those that do not meet their criteria. 

Why should you trust labels to choose your eco-responsible clothing?

 As consumers, it is often very difficult to find relevant and useful information on manufacturing, workers' conditions, the types of chemicals or the amount of water used to make the garment, for example.

 It is therefore to answer all these questions that labels exist.

Their role is to ensure that the textile industry complies with a number of ecological, fair trade and health requirements. They issue certifications to textile companies that have met these standards. Each label is recognised by its logo, which is affixed to the garments.

These labels meet four different criteria:

Environmental criteria

These criteria are ecological: they imply that companies' activities must not have a negative impact on the environment. These range from water pollution to the requirement to recycle materials.

 Social criteria

These criteria are intended to protect workers throughout the textile production value chain. These criteria place particular emphasis on fair trade and workers' health.

The limitation of harmful substances

These criteria take into account the dangerousness of the substances used in the manufacture of textiles. These substances must not exceed a certain limit in order to ensure consumer safety.

Animal respect.

This criterion was put in place to protect certain animal species, coveted by many brands for their skin or fur.

These fields of action make it possible to set limits against uncontrolled production. This, in order to obtain an eco-responsible production.

 

Which labels should be favoured when it comes to eco-responsible fashion?

All the labels that you will find in this article, work for more eco-responsibility and ethics in the fashion industry. They allow us, as consumers, to have more visibility on our clothing purchases.

 At Klow, we select all our clothes according to three eco-responsibility criteria:

- Certified organic materials

Low environmental impact. For this type of material, we will rely on labels such as GOTS, Tencel by Lenzing, Fair Trade Matière biologique cotton, for example. These labels will be able to certify that the materials used are organic, or use eco-design techniques for their manufacture.

- Certified natural and ecological materials

Like linen, hemp, Alpaca wool, or Merino. These natural materials, have a low impact given their growing conditions, they do not need labels. For these materials, the little extra is to rely on the Oeko-Tex label. If this is present on the label of the garment, it means that the material has benefited from a regulation concerning toxic products. And that these garments do not pose a risk to our health.

- A certified ethical production.

For this, we collaborate on Klow, with brands that can justify FairTrade, FairTrade Matière biologique Cotton or FairWear Foundation labels. These labels indicate that workers, craftsmen and farmers have been treated properly, based on FairTrade regulations. If the production of the garments is European, we do not require ethical labels from our partners, since the production is then regulated by European labour law, which also guarantees proper treatment and fair remuneration for the workers and craftsmen.

 

Which labels are to be preferred and what do they guarantee us?

 Labels help to identify the most eco-responsible clothing and brands. Here is the list of labels that you can find on our Klow.co shop, they are trustworthy labels:

GOTS

Gots certification - Klow

Created in 2002, it is an international label that applies to organic textiles. The GOTS label is managed and issued by the Global Matière biologique Textile Standard (GOTS). The GOTS was born out of four other international labels: theMatière biologique Trade Association, the JOCA, the International Association of Natural Textile Industry and the Japan Matière biologique Coton Association. Two other national labels, the IVN Naturtextil and the Soil Association, were subsequently added to the four previous ones.

A textile product with the GOTS label is a product whose manufacture respects ecological standards and the use of organic cotton. The GOTS label also attests to standards of social responsibility. Although it is above all, a guarantee of quality for the product.

The control of GOTS standards is carried out by independent control bodies. The label exists in two forms:

Level 1 which only takes into account organic textiles. It requires textiles to be made more than 95% from certified organic fibres and less than 5% from artificial or synthetic fibres.

Level 2, on the other hand, takes into account textiles composed of a certain amount of organic fibres. This level requires these textiles to be made from more than 70% certified organic fibres and less than 30% non-organic fibres with a maximum of 10% synthetic fibres.

The GOTS standards thus allow a qualitative verification of the eco-responsible composition of the garments.

 

PETA

Peta Certification - Klow

Originating from People for the Commerce équitable Treatment of Animals, PETA is an international label that works for the well-being of animals. This label works in particular with shoe brands, clothing brands or brands manufacturing various clothing accessories.

A product with this certification is a product for which no animal was used as a guinea pig during the various tests. The label also certifies that no products from the animal world were used in the manufacture of the garment.

As far as its control is concerned, it is done according to a declaration made by the manufacturers.

 

Oeko-Tex

Oeko-Tek Certification - Klow

The Oeko-Tex label was created in 1992. Its best-known certification is Standard 100, which covers all textile products. The certification covers both raw products and semi-finished and finished products. The certification also takes into account the processing steps followed by both the product and the materials used in its manufacture.

This certification also takes into account both the manufacturing stages and the materials used during the manufacturing process.

The role of the Oeko-Tex label is to check each stage of production of a textile product and to ensure that it does not contain any chemicals that could be harmful to health.

 

Global Matière recyclée Standard (GRS)

Global Matière recyclée Standard - Klow

Created in 2008, the Global Matière recyclée Standard is a label whose objective is to ensure that textile companies use recycled materials in the manufacture of their new products. A product with this label is a product made with at least 50% recycled materials.

The label also ensures that the product has not required the use of toxic or carcinogenic substances, and that the company that manufactured the product complies with ILO standards. 

 

Tencel by Lenzing

Tencel certification - Klow

Better known as lyocell, tencel is a kind of tissue produced from wood pulp and from a solvent that is non-toxic to the body. It is sometimes referred to as vegetable silk, because of its characteristics very similar to those of silk.

Tencel is an artificial fibre, but environmentally friendly. Its production does not require a lot of water, unlike cotton, which requires up to 5,000 litres of water per kilogram produced, whereas tencel requires only 1,000 litres. In addition, tencel yields 10 times more material than cotton.

The eco-friendly Tencel comes exclusively from the company Lenzing. Since the company ensures that solvents and waste water are recycled and participates in a green and circular economy. Tencel by Lenzing, is one of the most environmentally friendly, eco-responsible materials.

 

Fair Wear Foundation

Fairwear Foundation - Klow

 This label is the fruit of a common will of all the actors of the textile world, to see the work in the field being done in the best possible conditions. Created in 1999, the foundation is interested in textile work throughout the manufacturing chain. Starting with the harvesting of the fibres up to the finished product.

The label issued by the foundation does not apply to the products, but rather to the companies that manufacture them. It should be stressed that the Fair Wear Foundation has nothing to do with respect for the environment, but rather with respect for working conditions.

 

Fairtrade

FairTrade certification - Klow

It is a label created in 1988, whose aim is to ensure fair trade for economically emerging countries. Named "Max Havelaar" when it was created, the label is internationally recognized and applies to various food, cosmetic and textile products.

A product that is Fairtrade certified by FLO International, which is the guarantor of the label, is a product that financially supports farming and labour communities through a minimum premium. The label also takes into account a number of ecological criteria. The Fairtrade label ensures that employees are paid with dignity, that there is no child labour, no discrimination and that social standards are respected.

 

Fairtrade Matière biologique Cotton

FairTrade Matière biologique Cotton - Klow

 There are not too many differences between this label and the previous one. The only real difference is in the scope of Fairtrade Matière biologique Cotton. Where Fairtrade is more global, Fairtrade Matière biologique Cotton focuses solely on the working conditions of organic cotton producers in the southern hemisphere.

It guarantees farmers a certain financial income and decent working conditions. It also guarantees them better health by ensuring that certain chemical fertilizers and pesticides are banned.

 

B Corp

B Corp - Klow

B Corp isn't actually a label. Rather, it is a community of companies from around the world with a common goal: to integrate impact Engagement social at the heart of their business model.

Businesses belonging to this community are certainly for-profit businesses, but they struggle every day to have a positive impact on their environment. Every 3 years, they undergo an overall evaluation of their performance. It is following this evaluation that the B Corp labels the structures that comply with the requirements.

 

Origin France Guaranteed

Origin France - Klow

The label Origine France Garantie, contrary to what its name suggests, is not only awarded to "100%" Fabriqué en France products. It also takes into account the fact that a product is manufactured in accordance with the requirements of the French State, but also the fact that half of the cost price of the product benefits the French economy.

Set up by ProFrance in 2010, the label aims to promote French know-how, while ensuring real traceability of products.

You have now discovered our list of preferred labels. However, if your garment does not have all the certifications it does not mean that it is not eco responsible.

It is very difficult for a garment to obtain all of them. We invite you to select the clothes that best fit your personal values and commitments. Moreover, independent organizations ensure that the requirements remain in their manufacture, even once the label has been obtained.

If you have a doubt about a label or a subject, write us on the chat  or send us an email, by clicking here!

Want to know more about ethical fashion and eco-responsible brands?

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