Welcome to our

Certifications Directory

Know the Origin was born from the idea that shopping ‘better’ should be easier. Easier to access, easier to navigate, easier to understand.

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We know how much of a minefield it is to decipher sustainability, not just in the fashion market, but in every day life! So we're here to help, to be as honest and transparent as possible, offer you the pro's and con's of all types of fabrics on offer, so you can shop by the values that matter to you, and choose in an educated way. Below we let you know all about the fabrics on offer on Know the Origin. We hope this allows you easy, simple sustainability to support your journey to better choices.


B-Corp is a certification by global nonprofit organisation B-Lab that is not limited to just fashion, but any type of business. The certification measures a company’s entire social and environmental performance. To become B-Corp certified, companies go through a lengthy, detailed assessment and must also integrate B Corp commitments to stakeholders through company governing documents. The companies also pay an annual fee based on sales, and the certification process has to be repeated every 3 years. There is a minimum score that has to be achieved in order to gain the certification, but on top of this there is also an 80 point bar meaning companies can score higher than one another, and improve their score by improving their practises before their next assessment.


Sedex is short for the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange. It is a non-profit organisation and it’s all about transparency of supply chains. It works by offering supplier audits named SMETA, and works with businesses to improve working conditions in global supply chains. 

If a supplier becomes a Sedex member, they fill out an SAQ questionnaire which provides buyers with an understanding of the ethical and labour standards within their suppliers. Questions within the questionnaire align with the SMETA audit methodology: Labour, Health and Safety, Environment and Business Ethics. The SAQ gives the supplier a Management Controls Report with supporting guidance. They can share this with their customers and also use it to improve any areas recommended. From a buyer's point of view, the SAQ on a supplier gives them a clear picture of the workforce such as nationalities, genders, location and contract types.

SA 8000

The SA 8000 is a social accountability certification. It encourages organisations to develop, maintain and apply socially acceptable practises in the workplace. If a supplier passes an audit to become certified, it proves their commitment to treating their employees ethically and in compliance with global standards, it also reduces the risks of negligence. If a supplier adopts an SA 8000 certification, they must consider the conditions their employees operate under, and the social impact of their operations. SA 8000 sets workplace standards whilst also embracing existing international agreements including: the International Labour Organisation, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

PETA approved

For a brand, collection, or product to be PETA Approved vegan, the brand completes a questionnaire and has their supplier(s) or manufacturer(s) complete a statement of assurance, as well as paying an annual certification fee. As used in PETA’s statement of assurance, “vegan” means no animal-derived materials are used within the product, including but not limited to fur, leather, silk, down, and wool.


Oeko-tex is a collaborative organisation consisting of 17 independent research and test institutes in Europe and Japan. These institutes develop test methods that form the basis of the Oeko-tex standards. The standard seen most often for textiles is the STANDARD 100 which verifies that products contain no substances harmful to humans. Samples of the products that are Oeko-tex standard 100 certified have undergone laboratory tests to show they contain no harmful chemicals.

FSC approved

The FSC certification attached to natural fibre brands or products means you can rest assured that the forests that fibre came from were sustainably managed. The forest owner’s or manager’s management practises must meet the FSC criteria to be awarded with the certification, as well as the applicable FSC national forest stewardship standard.


The Fairtrade textile standard works with cotton farmers and textile workers to educate workers on their rights, improve wages and encourage clothing brands to work on fairer terms. This is important; farmers are dealing with issues caused by climate change and decreasing yields, whilst also dealing with rising production costs and fluctuating market prices, it’s certainly not easy. Fairtrade supports cotton farmers by enabling them to sell their goods at a price that means they can provide for themselves and their families. It also requires that the factories that process Fairtrade cotton comply with ILO (International Labour Organisation) core conventions.

Climate neutral

Climate Neutral is a non-profit organisation. For a brand to become certified Climate neutral, they go through a measuring process to create a solid estimation of their carbon emissions from manufacturing and delivering their products from the year before. It uses a brand emissions estimator based on 3 scopes. The brand must then purchase verified carbon credits in order to balance their carbon emissions to become ‘neutral’. One carbon credit equalises one tonne of carbon emissions. Carbon credits come from supporting projects that either avoid or remove carbon. For example, renewable energy avoids emissions from fossil fuels, and reforestation removes carbon from the atmosphere. These are examples of the types of projects you then pay into in order to neutralise your carbon usage score.


The ‘Blue way’ is all about sustainable and responsible manufacturing of textile products. Bluesign traces each textile’s path through the manufacturing process, making improvements from factory floor to finished product. Bluesign acts as an independent verifier to secure trust and transparency, and offer knowledge and solutions, encouraging improvement and more sustainable processes.  

To be Bluesign certified, brands and manufacturers are required to act responsibly and sustainable with regard to people, environment and resources, and these are based on strict Bluesign criteria. They ensure transparency and traceability of all steps of the process down to the raw materials such as dyes or chemical auxiliary materials (solvents, separation agents etc). A Bluesign certified product means the brand has committed to the Bluesign system, and the product contains Bluesign approved textiles (at least 90% and at least 30% Bluesign accessories).


GOTS was born from a group of associations processing organic standards wanting to come together and create one larger Internationally recognised standard. A great form of collaboration for better, all joining their individual extensive experience. The standard is also regularly updated and advised upon from other relevant international stakeholder organisations. The certification is based on 4 main sections: Organic fibres, ecological and social criteria, all processing stages, and third party certifications. To receive the certification, all stages of the supply chain must comply with the GOTS criteria, from fibre processing, to spinning, weaving and knitting, wet-processing (dyes), manufacturing and trading.

Better Cotton Initiative

BCI certified cotton is not organic cotton. BCI is an initiative in place to help conventional cotton farmers improve their processes from an environmental, social, and economic point of view. The Better Cotton Standard System (BCSS) is a holistic approach to sustainable cotton production. Their teams work with cotton farming communities to help make improvements in education, knowledge and well-being; working with everyone from smallholdings to large industrialised farms. Educating on better soil and water management, less use of pesticides, and greater resilience to climate change. 

Organic cotton is a lot better for the environment than conventional cotton. However, there are reasons why it’s sometimes not possible for farmers to farm their land organically, such as neighbouring conventional cotton farmed land, or if a farmer can’t afford to leave the land untouched for 3 years before producing their crops (part of the organic regulations). The issue with the growth of demand of BCI cotton is that if it’s an easier option and the demand is there, organic farmers could adapt to the BCI way of farming over organic, which is a lot worse for the environment.


BSCI is a step before SA8000, and it is not an earned certification. BSCI is a system provided to help companies gradually improve working conditions in their supply chain. Once companies meet all BSCI requirements, they are then encouraged to move on to the SA8000 social management certification. The BSCI system works off of a code of conduct following 11 principles that support the members. The system offers a step-by-step approach to help companies monitor, engage, and receive support to improve their sustainability and ethics. They provide auditing tools, an auditing integrity programme, a dashboard that helps businesses see their complex supply chains clearer in order to identify and compare data, track and measure targeted improvements. They also offer training, workshops and e-learning to help their business partners to drive improvements. The headquarters are in Brussels, but they also have local networks.

Climate Neutral Britain

Carbon Neutral Britain is a company that aids individuals and businesses in offsetting their carbon footprint. By paying into the scheme on a monthly prescription.  Carbon Neutral Britain works with their certified partners on carbon offsetting projects. These projects are verified by the VCS (Verified Carbon Standard), VER (Gold Standard Voluntary Emission Reductions), EU and UK ETC (Uk and EU Emissions Trading Standard), and the CER (United Nations Certified Emission Reductions) programmes. 

How does Carbon Neutral Britain measure a business’s carbon footprint?

The organisation's environmental consultants calculate the business’s carbon footprint, following the ISO 14064 Standard and the GHG Emissions Protocol Accounting Standard. Their team then produces a Carbon Emissions Report for the business outlining their carbon footprint. This is measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO²e).

Low Carbon Footprint

We have awarded this badge to the brands manufacturing in the country they are based out of. A brand that we’ve given a low carbon footprint badge to is doing as much as they can to keep the distance their fabrics and products have travelled to a minimum. We do have to consider the fact that as we are stocking and selling the products in the UK, and so they have travelled to us to sell, but we wanted a badge that rewarded those supporting local manufacturers or manufacturing themselves in order to keep their supply chain’s carbon footprint down.


Three separate organisations got together back in 1999 to improve labour conditions within the garment industry, which has now become the Fair Wear team. Fair Wear works for a fairer and more ethical fashion industry. The team helps member brands create practical plans to improve working conditions. Brands are expected to show improvement every year. They work with brands through performance checks, factory audits, complaints helplines and factory training sessions. The Fair Wear standards are: Employment is freely chosen, freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, no discrimination in employment, no exploitation of child labour, payment of living wage, reasonable hours of work, safe and healthy working conditions, legally binding employment relationship.

What countries of manufacture does Fair Wear work with? 

Currently Bangladesh, Bulgaria, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, North Macedonia, Romania, Tunisia, Turkey, Vietnam.

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If you have any questions about the information on this page, please contact our team at hello@knowtheorigin.com