20 Certifications and Standards for Textile Industry Businesses

Each and every industry tries to succeed in its niche. However, success can only be achieved if the three criteria are satisfied, economic, social, and environmental. These criteria are evaluated on various grounds. Certifications in the textile industry are based on these evaluations. Certification ensures that proper standards are maintained, enhances customer reach, and estimates the quality management system.

Textile testing is one of the processes that is used to analyze various textile materials around the globe according to the requirements. Textile testing helps companies, consumer groups, and the government to make sure textile materials are safe to use, of good quality, and reasonable.

Some of the widely popular certifications and standards in the textile industry are listed below. This article is submitted by Adita Banerjee.

1. International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001 (2015)

ISO 9001 caters to the quality management system which is an important component for any organization, large or small, regardless of its field of activity. ISO certified companies are spread over 170 countries around the world.

This standard is based on a number of quality management principles including a strong customer focus, the motivation and implication of top management, the process approach, and continual improvement. Some textile and apparel companies view ISO certification as the only necessary factor for exports business.

Any organization with an ISO certification assures consistency, good-quality products, and services, which in turn helps to build trust. Know more about ISO organization.

2. Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)

GOTS certification allows organizations to be commercialized worldwide. It is the organic certification issued by a certification body that provides industries an assurity to call themselves “organic” in association with the GOTS logo. Any industry with GOTS certificate has to undergo scrutinization before marketing their products, ensuring a guarantee all through the supply chain until the consumers. GOTS applies to products composed of fibers, wool, fabrics, clothes, and upholstery fabrics except for leather products.

Textile products should have at least 70% contribution from organic agriculture to be called GOTS certified.

  • Environmentally friendly production and processing processes
  • Better working conditions
  • Assurance of quality by using organic fibers
  • Prohibition of hazardous inputs such as toxic heavy metals, aromatic solvents, etc.

3. Fair Trade

This certificate is created by the World Fair Trade Organisation which aims to help producers in growing countries achieve sustainable and equitable trade relationships. It is applicable for end products that are typically exported from developing countries to developed countries.

Fair trade textiles are primarily made from fair-trade cotton. It ensures decent and safe working conditions throughout the supply chain. Producers, Grower groups, processors, importers or exporters, brands, distributors can apply for this Fair Trade certificate.


ECO PASSPORT by OEKO-TEX is an independent testing and certification system for chemicals, colorants, and auxiliaries used for manufacturing textiles. Oeko-Tex is a registered trademark, representing the product labels and company certifications issued and other services provided by the International Association for Research and Testing in the Field of Textile and Leather Ecology (which also calls itself

Oeko-Tex for short). Oeko-Tex labels and certificates confirm the human-ecological safety of textile products and leather articles from all stages of production (raw materials and fibers, yarns, fabrics, ready-to-use end products) along the textile value chain. The extent and requirements of Oeko-Tex testing for harmful substances depend on the intended use of a textile product. Eco Passport by Oeko-Tex for chemicals is one among other certificates issued by Oeko-Tex.

5. SA8000

The SA8000 Standard is the world’s leading social certification program. The SA8000 Standard and Certification System ensures a fair and decent environment for workers along with maintaining the highest social standards. 

It was created by SAI in 1997 as the first credible social certification, it has led the industry for over 20 years. This certification enables manufacturers to demonstrate their compliance. SA8000 checks for important criteria such as child labor, health, and safety, freedom of association & right to collective bargaining, etc.

6. Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production (WRAP)

The first Board of Directors was constituted in 1999, and WRAP was officially incorporated in 2000. WRAP is specifically organized to be independent – both financially and in terms of governance – of the apparel industry. It fosters safe, lawful, humane, and ethical manufacturing around the world through certification and education.

The WRAP certificate is a recognized symbol of a commitment to uphold social and ethical standards. Companies having WRAP certificate follows rules and regulations of the country where it operates.

7. Bluesign

The term bluesign refers to the responsible use of resources and the lowest possible impact on people and the environment. The certification standard combines aspects of consumer safety, water, and air emissions, and occupational health with negligible use of toxic substances. 

According to the terms and conditions the manufacturers and brands are required to act responsibly and sustainably with regard to people, the environment, and resources. Bluesign ensures that the final textile product meets very stringent consumer safety requirements worldwide and results in an ideal production process. Maximum brands use blue signed proved chemicals, this reduces the risk for mankind also saves the cost. Learn more about Bluesign.

8. Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC)

ZDHC or Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals in the textile, leather, and footwear value chain to improve the environment and people’s wellbeing. It aims to treat the toxic substances before releasing them anywhere thus assuring safer health conditions.

It consists of 3 contributor categories: Signatory Brands, Value Chain Affiliates, and Associates. ZDHC is a multi-stakeholder organisation comprising over 170 contributors from across the industry including Brands, Suppliers, Chemical Suppliers, and Solution Providers. ZDHC ensures consumer wellbeing by proper quality checking at each stage of production. Know more about ZDHC.

9. Responsible Care

Responsible Care is the global chemical industry’s voluntary initiative to bring about changes by improving the environmental, health, safety, and security knowledge and performance of technologies, processes, and products over their life cycles so as to avoid harm to people and the environment.

It analyses performance openly which gives it an edge over others. Responsible care tracks the progress but also interacts with the people to understand and address their concerns and expectations. The voluntary program has already been implemented by 62 chemical associations in more than 70 economies around the globe.

10. Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH)

It aims to improve the protection of human health and the environment through better and earlier identification of the intrinsic properties of chemical substances. It aims to enhance the innovation and competitiveness of the EU chemicals industry.

REACH limits the use of harmful substances by making a substitute for the hazardous chemicals used in industries as well as in daily life. REACH was founded on 1st June 2007. Its main motive was to provide the right information about the chemicals used in the industries which might possess hazard to human health.

11. Green Seal

Green Seal is a global non-profit organization that works for a healthier, greener world. It stands for a sustainable environment that encompasses rigorous standards for health, sustainability, and product performance. Green Seal was founded in the year 1989 and since then it was a pioneer in the ecolabeling movement.

Green Seal bases its standard development procedures on internationally recognized best practices, as described in ISEAL’s Standard-Setting Code (2014). This code allows the entire process of production to be transparent.

12. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)

LEED is mostly used green building rating system in the world. LEED creates buildings that are cost-saving, energy-efficient, and environment-friendly. It is in 165 countries and territories.

A company with LEED certificate is well recognized around the world for its green building. These buildings save energy, water, resources, generate less waste, and support human health.

13. Organic Content Standard (OCS)

OCS certification enables the use of organic material throughout the processing stage. It verifies the presence and amount of organic material in a final product. OCS 100 has at least 95% of certified organic fiber. Products composed of fibers, wool, fabrics, clothes, and upholstery fabrics except leather products fall under OCS.

Control Union is the leading certification body, which has certified the majority of all certified facilities. OCS allows for transparent, consistent, and comprehensive independent evaluation and verification of organic material content claims on products.

14. Fair Wear Foundation (FWF)

FWF works for safer working conditions that reduce any chance of casualties thus offering a sustainable improvement to workplace conditions. Brands should check if their manufacturers are certified by FWF if they prioritize having safe working conditions where their products are made.


FLOCERT is a global certification and verification body for Fair Trade products. It allows companies to follow ethical business standards and fairness in their supply chain. Having FLOCERT certification increases an organization’s recognition in the global market.

16. Responsible Wool Standard (RWS)

The Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) provides an opportunity for farmers to cultivate the best quality of wool which follows the global standard. RWS focuses on the proper treatment of sheep and maintaining the quality of land they graze on.

The benefit of having an RWS certificate is that it provides verification of the practices that are happening at the farm level, giving brands a clear solution that will allow them to make claims about their wool sourcing.

17. Responsible Down Standard (RDS)

Exploitations are very common in the textile sector where animal sources are used. To eliminate this, RDS ensures animal welfare in down and feather products. Animal products such as feather and down, wool, angora, cashmere, and leather, in particular, are examined to assure their welfare.

The RDS has been developed by Control Union, The North Face, and Textile Exchange through a wide stakeholder review process, which involved, among others, worldwide down supply chain members and major animal welfare organizations.

18. Recycled Claim Standard (RCS 100)

The RCS (Recycled Claim Standard) is used as a chain of custody standard to track recycled raw materials through the supply chain. To ensure minimal wastage in the processing stages, materials are recycled depending on the requirement. RCS checks for the presence and amount of recycled material in a final product

19. Sustainable Fibre Alliance (SFA)

SFA’s Sustainable Cashmere Standard was established to tackle sustainability challenges in the production of cashmere. It caters to the safety and welfare of goats and the herders. It was developed in 2015 as the world’s first holistic sustainability cashmere standard. The SFA standard is based on the Content Claim Standard by Textile Exchange, a standard supporting many other sustainability certifications and so adopted already by the industry.

20. Cradle to Cradle certification

It is a multi-attribute label providing a means to demonstrate efforts in eco-intelligent product design. It focuses on areas like eco-friendly materials, recyclable materials, efficient use of water and energy, and so on. It is applicable for raw materials to the finished products.

Certifications and Standards in tabulated form. 

Standards and certifications organizations

  • https://www.ecocert.com/en-IN/certification
  • https://textilefocus.com/brief-certifications-required-textile-industry/
  • https://www.fibre2fashion.com/industry-article/3746/iso-certification-for-textile-and-apparel-industries
  • https://www.manufacturingmanagement.co.uk/features/what-certifications-are-important-for-the-garment-industry
  • https://certifications.controlunion.com/en/industries/textiles
  • https://sa-intl.org/programs/sa8000/ 

About the Author: Adita Banerjee is pursuing her graduate degree in Textile Technology from the Government College of Engineering and Textile Technology, Serampore. She loves writing content and reading books.

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