What Are Certifications?

A certification or seal is a trademark created by an association or a professional organisation as a means of guaranteeing the origin, specificities, level of quality or conformity of a product to pre-established production standards. It can only be used by producers or brands that comply with the specifications drawn up by the body or agency holding the seal.

Why Obtain a Certificate?

There are several advantages to obtaining a certificate: on the one hand, a label is a standardised and international communication tool that allows you to communicate your company’s commitments to consumers in a tangible way backed by third-party validation. On the other hand, the certification process is based on an audit that provides recommendations for best practices with a view to continuously improving production methods. Choosing to become certified is a voluntary process that depends on your desire to demonstrate your commitments, your budget and your activity sector.


IVN is an association of over 100 companies from all stages of leather and textile manufacturing that stand for ecological and socially responsible production. As a business association, our role is both that of voice and facilitator for our members and our industry. We provide factual information for media professionals and the public on subjects ranging from environment, social responsibility, transparency to consumer health and safety.
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Since 2000, BEST incorporates the guidelines for sustainable textiles on the basis of definitions of ecology and social accountability formulated by Internationalen Verband der Naturtextilwirtschaft e. V. (IVN), applied to the entire textile production chain. Because this represents the highest currently achievable level of production, it is logical that only a limited number of products can meet them.
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IVN has been involved in developing a standard for sustainable leather since 2001. The quality seal NATURLEDER IVN ZERTIFIZIERT certifies a high level of ecology and quality for the labeled product.
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The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the world’s leading standard for processing textiles made from organically produced natural fibres. At a high level, it defines environmental requirements along the entire textile production chain from the field, via wet finishing processes (dyeing/printing) to the trade, and at the same time demands compliance with social criteria.
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A product certified with MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX® meets the demanding criteria of two OEKO-TEX® system modules: STANDARD 100 or LEATHER STANDARD by OEKO-TEX® (ensures that the product has been tested for harmful substances) and STeP by OEKO-TEX® (certifies that the product has been sustainably manufactured under socially acceptable working conditions).
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The International Association for Research and Testing in the Field of Textile and Leather Ecology issues product labels and factory certifications under the trademark OEKO-TEX®. This involves testing products at all stages of processing along the textile value chain (fibres, yarns, fabrics, leather, finished products) for health safety and testing production sites for socially and environmentally compatible production conditions. Criteria and pollutant limits of the internationally uniform Oeko-Tex standards are regularly modified and expanded.
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The Global Recycled Standard (GRS) enables companies to record the exact proportion of recycled material in a product and track it through the production chain. The overriding “Content Claim Standard” defines, among other things, the traceability of goods and transparency in the production chain. In addition, GRS contains requirements on the additives used in GRS products as well as guidelines on environmental management and social responsibility within the company.
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Cotton made in Afrika

The foundation aims to improve the social, economic and ecological living conditions of cotton smallholders and their families in sub-Saharan Africa. To this end, it aims to promote sustainable and efficient cotton cultivation methods in accordance with its own standards. In the target countries, strategic partnerships, a demand alliance and the Cotton made in Africa certificate are to be established in order to give African cotton “appropriate esteem” in international trade and to increase the demand for African cotton in the sales markets.
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The “Better Cotton Initiative” was created to make global cotton production better for the people who work on it, better for the environment in which it grows and better for the future of the industry. The BCI connects people and organizations from across the cotton industry, from the field to the store counter, to achieve measurable and continuous improvements for the environment, farms and the economies of cotton producing regions.
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The basic idea of risk minimization according to bluesign® system is based on Input Stream Management, which means the elimination of hazardous chemical substances right from the beginning of the design and production processes. At the same time, the resource productivity will be optimized which leads overall to a minimum impact to people and the environment.
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The Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) is a code of conduct dealing with child labour, working hours, health and safety at work, such as environmental-friendly production. Visit Website


Cradle to cradle (C2C) is an approach to a continuous and consistent recycling management. “Cradle-to-cradle products” are therefore those that can either be returned to biological cycles as biological nutrients or can be continuously kept in technical cycles as “technical nutrients”.
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The V-label is an internationally recognised and protected brand for labelling vegetarian and vegan products. For consumers it is a simple and safe orientation aid. Companies use the V-label to create transparency and clarity.
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Fair Wear Foundation knows there’s a better way to make clothes. Fair Wear wants to see a world where the garment industry supports workers in realising their rights to safe, dignified, properly paid employment. To do this, Fair Wear focuses on garment production, specifically sewing, cutting and trimming processes–the most labour intensive parts of the supply chain.
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The Fairtrade standards are the set of rules and regulations that smallholder organisations, plantations and companies along the entire value chain have to comply with and change trade(s). They include social, ecological and economic criteria to ensure sustainable development of producer organisations in developing and emerging countries. The Fairtrade standards refer, among other things, to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and a large number of international agreements and translate them into the form of concrete, verifiable criteria.
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The EU Ecolabel is the EU eco-label recognised in all Member States of the European Union, but also by Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland. Introduced in 1992 by an EU regulation (Regulation EEC 880/92), the voluntary label has gradually become a reference for consumers who want to help reduce pollution by buying more environmentally friendly products and services.
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FSC forest management certification confirms that the forest is being managed in a way that preserves biological diversity and benefits the lives of local people and workers, while ensuring it sustains economic viability.
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The RWS requires all sites to be certified, beginning with the wool farmers and through to the seller in the final business to business transaction. Usually the last stage to be certified is the garment manufacturer or brand. Retailers (business-to-consumers) are not required to be certified. Farms are certified to the Animal Welfare and Land Management and Social Modules of the RWS. Subsequent stages of the supply chain are certified to the Content Claim Standard requirements. If you wish to be certified to the RWS, you can contact one of the listed Certification Bodies.
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The Responsible Down Standard is an independent, voluntary global standard, which means that companies can choose to certify their products to the RDS, even if there is no legislation requiring them to do so. The RDS was developed and revised over three years, with the input of animal welfare groups, industry experts, brands and retailers. The standard recognizes and rewards the best practices in animal welfare.
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The Organic Content Standard 100 (OCS 100) and Organic Content Standard blended (OCS blended) applies to any non-food product containing 5-100% organic material. It verifies the presence and amount of organic material in a final product and tracks the flow of a raw material from its source to the final product. This process is then certified by an accredited third party.
The OCS relies on third-party verification to confirm whether a final product contains the accurate amount of a given organically grown material. OCS allows for transparent, consistent and comprehensive independent evaluation and verification of organic material content claims on products.
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The RCS is used as a chain of custody standard to track recycled raw materials through the supply chain. As per label grade RCS offers two logo varieties: RCS 100 (minimum 95% recycled material content) or RCS blended (minimum 5% recycled material content). The standard was developed through work done by the Materials Traceability Working Group, part of OIA’s Sustainability Working Group. The RCS uses the chain of custody requirements of the Content Claim Standard:
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