Organic certifications: What does which label mean?
There are several organic textile certifications that are used to indicate that a product has been produced using environmentally sustainable and socially responsible practices. Here is an overview of some of the most well-known organic textile certifications:
GOTS: Global Organic Textile Standard
GOTS is a global standard for organic textiles that covers the entire production process, from harvesting of the raw materials to the labeling of the finished product. It requires a minimum of 95% certified organic fibers and prohibits the use of toxic chemicals and other harmful inputs. It also includes social criteria, such as fair labor practices.
OCS: Organic Content Standard
OCS is a standard that verifies the amount of organic material in a product, rather than the entire production process. It ensures that the organic materials used in a product are correctly tracked and identified throughout the supply chain.
BCI: Better Cotton Initiative
BCI is a global organization that works to make cotton production more sustainable by promoting better practices for farmers, including reducing the use of pesticides and water. While BCI cotton is not necessarily organic, it is produced with more sustainable practices.
GRS: Global Recycled Standard
GRS is a standard that verifies the amount of recycled content in a product, as well as the responsible social, environmental, and chemical practices used in its production.
Textile Exchange standards
Textile Exchange is an organization that works to promote sustainable practices in the textile industry. It offers several standards, including the Recycled Claim Standard (RCS), the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS), and the Responsible Down Standard (RDS).
The OEKO-TEX 100 certification is used to indicate that a textile product has been tested for harmful substances and found to be safe for human use. The certification is based on a list of over 100 harmful substances that are restricted, which means their residue in textiles can not exceed certain limits, including pesticides, heavy metals, and formaldehyde.
It's important to note that the OEKO-TEX certification does not indicate whether a product is organic or environmentally sustainable in other ways, but rather that it meets specific safety standards.
B Corp Certification
B Corp (short for Benefit Corporation) is a type of certification for for-profit companies that are committed to meeting high standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Companies that achieve B Corp certification are part of a global movement of businesses that are using their influence and resources to create positive social and environmental impact.
To become a certified B Corp, a company must meet rigorous standards in areas such as environmental sustainability, social responsibility, transparency, and governance. B Corps are required to complete a comprehensive assessment that evaluates their impact on employees, customers, the community, and the environment. The assessment is conducted by the nonprofit B Lab, which is the organization that oversees the B Corp certification process.
How can I fact check for myself?
These are some of the most well-known organic textile certifications, but there are many others available. When choosing organic textiles, it is important to look for products that are certified by a reputable organization and to read the label carefully to understand the specific standards that have been met.
You might also just fact check for yourself. Sustainable companies will most likely communicate their efforts. If you can’t find that info about a company’s production, it’s safe to assume they are using conventional chemical processing. Here are some questions to check if a company is really sustainable and therefore even knows what’s inside their products:
- Are materials from organic, renewable resources used?
- Is the processing somehow organic, e.g. certified colouring, closed loop processing?
- Does the company transparently communicate where it produces?
- Does the company produce itself?
- Does the company outsource to a long and non-transparent supply-chain?
- Does the supply-chain extend over various continents?
- Does the company know the source of textiles?
- Does the company know their producers?
- Does a company verify the audits?
- Does the company continuously re-new its certificates?
Why are certifications sometimes confusing?
While organic certifications are generally seen as a positive development for the textile industry, there are some critiques and concerns that have been raised regarding their effectiveness and impact. Some of the critiques for organic certifications include:
- Lack of uniform standards: The standards for organic labeling can vary depending on the certifying organization or country, which can create confusion for consumers and make it difficult to compare different products. Additionally, some standards may be more stringent than others, leading to variations in the quality and sustainability of organic products.
- Limited coverage: Organic certifications only apply to specific aspects of textile production, such as the use of organic fibers, and do not necessarily address other important sustainability issues, such as water usage, energy consumption, and worker conditions.
- Cost and accessibility: Organic certifications can be expensive to obtain, which can create barriers for smaller producers and limit the availability of organic products. This can also result in higher prices for consumers, making it difficult for some people to afford organic textiles.
- Certification challenges: Some critics argue that the certification process for organic labels is not stringent enough, and that companies can manipulate the system to obtain certification without actually adhering to sustainable practices. This can lead to 'greenwashing', or misleading claims about the sustainability of products.
- Lack of enforcement: In some cases, there may be a lack of enforcement of organic certifications standards, which can allow companies to misrepresent their products as organic without facing consequences.
Overall, while organic certifications have helped to promote more sustainable practices in the textile industry, there is still room for improvement in the standards and enforcement of these labels to ensure that they are effective in promoting sustainability and protecting the environment.
What are the certificates Moonchild relies on?
Moonchild even exceeds the requirements of the certifications and uses textiles with 100% certified organic fibres, whereas the certifications would only require a minimum of 95% organic fibres for fabrics to be labeled certified organic. Moonchild uses fabrics that are certified organic from harvesting to textile finishing and sources directly from a small supply chain with direct contact to every stage along the supply chain to ensure full transparency. Each stage of the silk production chain is controlled by the European GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certificate. Our supply chain mostly lies within the EU with its strong regulations. This ensures that the label is genuine. The strict regulations ensure that the fabric is free of the following 24 potentially harming substances:
APEO, EDTA, DTPA, NTA surfactants
Azo dyes, carcinogenic dyes, allergenic dyes
DTDMAC, DSDMAC, DHTDMAC quaternary ammonium compounds
Non oxygen-based bleaches
Find the certificate here:
Moonchild only produces within the EU and in countries meeting the world's highest standards of social welfare ensuring fair wages, safe and fair working conditions and guaranteed no child-labour.