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What Does That Mean? Standarts & Certificates For Clothing

It’s hard to ignore all of the signs that are on the labels of clothes, food etc. But what do they mean actually? Have you ever tried to find out? We did try, so now we’d like to share the results of our research on the most popular signs (this list will be completed).




If you see this little green sign on the label – it means that the product in your hands is made of organic materials.

Organic fibers are any fiber made from a product that grows in the ground, or made from an animals pelt or is produced by an insect. Examples are cotton, bamboo, wool, and silk

It can be 2 options of GOTS certification:

must contain a minimum of 95% certified organic fibres must contain a minimum of 70% certified organic fibres


This standard includes 3 types of criteria that must be fulfilled:

Environmental Criteria

  • At all stages through the processing organic fibre products must be separated from conventional fibre products and must to be clearly identified
  • All chemical inputs (e.g. dyes, auxiliaries and process chemicals) must be evaluated and meeting basic requirements on toxicity and biodegradability/eliminability
  • Prohibition of critical inputs such as toxic heavy metals, formaldehyde, aromatic solvents, functional nano particles, genetically modified organisms (GMO) and their enzymes
  • The use of synthetic sizing agents is restricted; knitting and weaving oils must not contain heavy metals
  • Bleaches must be based on oxygen (no chlorine bleaching)
  • Azo dyes that release carcinogenic amine compounds are prohibited
  • Discharge printing methods using aromatic solvents and plastisol printing methods using phthalates and PVC are prohibited
  • Restrictions for accessories (e.g. no PVC, nickel or chrome permitted)
  • All operators must have an environmental policy including target goals and procedures to minimise waste and discharges
  • Wet processing units must keep full records of the use of chemicals, energy, water consumption and waste water treatment, including the disposal of sludge. The waste water from all wet processing units must be treated in a functional waste water treatment plant.
  • Packaging material must not contain PVC. Paper or cardboard used in packaging material, hang tags, swing tags etc. must be recycled or certified according to FSC or PEFC

Technical Quality and Human Toxicity Criteria

  • Technical quality parameters must be met (s.a. rubbing, perspiration, light and washing fastness and shrinkage values)
  • Raw materials, intermediates, final textile products as well as accessories must meet stringent limits regarding unwanted residues

Social Criteria

  • Employment is freely chosen
  • Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining are respected
  • Working conditions are safe and hygienic
  • Child labour must not be used
  • Living wages
  • Working hours are not excessive
  • No discrimination is practiced
  • Regular employment is provided
  • Harsh or inhumane treatment is prohibited


As you can see, it’s pretty serious and it’s great for a brand to have this standard. It’s also good for you, because you can be sure that it’s 100% sustainable.



OEKO-TEX® enables consumers and companies to make responsible decisions which protect our planet for future generations. The testing and certification process on which these standards are based guarantees maximum consumer safety. 


There's different types of OEKO-TEX certification:


OEKO-TEX®  STANDARD 100 is the most frequently used by companies.

If a textile article carries the STANDARD 100 label, you can be certain that every component of this article, i.e. every thread, button and other accessories, has been tested for harmful substances and that the article therefore is harmless in human ecological terms.

The test is conducted by our independent OEKO-TEX® partner institutes on the basis of the extensive OEKO-TEX® criteria catalog. In the test they take into account numerous regulated and non-regulated substances, which may be harmful to human health.