A brief on Certifications required in Textile Industry

Farzana Alam Piya, Research Assistance

Textile companies and consumer agencies conduct various kinds of analyses to make sure our clothes and the fabrics we use in our homes won’t harm us, will be comfortable and will stay colorful for a long time. These processes are called textile testing. The most obvious reason behind testing is that it allows companies, consumer groups and the government to make sure textiles are safe, of good quality, and that the customer is getting what they are paying for. Textile products are manufactured around the world, and sent to markets around the world. Testing ensures that something harmful or illegal isn’t shipping through the regulatory crack.


bluesignbluesign technologies ag was founded in Switzerland in 2000. The unique combination of expertise in key segments of the textile production as chemistry, textile technology, environment technology and supply chain management characterizes our company. The bluesign system, the solution for a sustainable textile production, eliminates harmful substances right from the beginning of the manufacturing process. Every year up to 60 million tons of natural & synthetic fibres are processed into textiles, to fulfil the demand of the world’s population which is up to 7 billion people. Again more than hundred liter of clean water, 1 kg of chemical compounds is required to produce 1 kg of textiles. So per year 10 million tons of chemicals are used only to produce textiles. Which increases is the risk of environment as well as for mankind. Controlling standards for an environmentally friendly and safe production, Bluesign ensures that the final textile product meets very stringent consumer safety requirements worldwide and results an ideal production process. Maximum brands uses blue signed proved chemicals, this reduces risk for mankind also save the cost. For details:  https://www.bluesign.com/


gots-logoThe Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibres, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain. The aim of this standard is to define world-wide recognized requirements that ensure organic status of textiles, from harvesting of the raw materials, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing up to labelling in order to provide a credible assurance to the end consumer. Textile processors and manufacturers are enabled to export their organic fabrics and garments with one certification accepted in all major markets. Since its introduction in 2006 the Global Organic Textile Standard has already demonstrated its practical feasibility. To date for more than 500 chemical suppliers dyestuffs and chemicals have been assessed by the certifiers already and more than 15,000 trade names of colorants and auxiliaries have been listed as approved. For details : https://www.global-standard.org/


zdhcThe mission of ZDHC is to advance towards Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals in the textile, leather and footwear value chain to improve the environment and people’s wellbeing. Including a collaboration of 27 signatory brands, 81 value chain affiliates & 17 associates, its vision is widespread implementation of sustainable chemistry and best practices in the textile, leather and footwear industries to protect consumers, workers and the environment.  There are 3 contributor categories: Signatory Brands, Value Chain Affiliates and Associates. As a ZDHC Contributor an industry will be able to:  Stay ahead of legal and regulatory developments with regards to chemical management. Work as part of a collaboration, developing and implementing ZDHC products and tools. Access ZDHC tools and products. Access chemical management and industry expertise. Website:  https://www.roadmaptozero.com/


mrsl-logoThe Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals – Manufacturing Restricted Substance List, ZDHC –MRSL   is a list of chemical substances which banned from intentional use in the process textile materials and trim parts in apparel and footwear. The ZDHC MRSL establishes acceptable concentration limits for substances in chemical formulations used within manufacturing facilities. The intent of the ZDHC MRSL is to manage the input of chemicals to the suppliers and remove those hazardous substances from the manufacturing process. It is a living document that will be updated whenever needed. For details: https://www.roadmaptozero.com/programme/manufacturing-restricted-substances-list-mrsl-conformity-guidance/

Responsible Care:

responsibel-careResponsible Care is the global chemical industry’s voluntary initiative, which – beyond legislative and regulatory compliance – commits: Continuously improving the environmental, health, safety and security knowledge and performance of our technologies, processes and products over their life cycles so as to avoid harm to people and the environment. Using resources efficiently and minimum waste. Reporting openly on performance, achievements and shortcomings. Listening, engaging and working with people to understand and address their concerns and expectations. And finally cooperating with governments and other organizations in the development and implementation of effective regulations and standards. Launched in 1985, Responsible Care activity has extended beyond chemicals manufacturing to other activities. Up until now, the voluntary program has been implemented by 62 chemical associations in more than 70 economies around the globe. Website:  https://cefic.org/our-industry/responsible-care/


eco_passport_1_image_rcECO PASSPORT by OEKO-TEX is an independent testing and certification system for chemicals, colorants and auxiliaries used for manufacture textiles. It is a 3 stage verification process analyses whether the chemical products and each individual ingredient meet specific requirements with regard to sustainability, safety and compliance with statutory regulations. The 3 stages are: Screening Restricted Substance List (RSL) and Manufacturing Restricted Substance List (MRSL), Analytical verification at an OEKO-TEX member institute laboratory & Verification of product stewardship measures regarding the working conditions and environmental management. Products passing the requirements of the ECO PASSPORT by OEKO-TEX certification and will be entered into the OEKO-TEX buying guide which is the OEKO-TEX® central sourcing platform of pre-certified articles and materials. Website: https://www.oeko-tex.com/en/business/certifications_and_services/ecopassport/ecopassport_start.xhtml


isoInternational Standard Organization, develops International Standards, such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, this organization is not involved in certification and do not issue certificates. This is performed by external certification bodies. Thus a company or organization cannot be certified by ISO. However ISO’s Committee on Conformity Assessment (CASCO) has produced a number of standards related to the certification process, which are used by certification bodies. The trademarks for the ISO logo and short name are registered in over 100 countries. Only ISO, ISO members, and ISO technical committees (TCs) are allowed to use the ISO logo and ISO short name in accordance with ISO Policies. For Details: https://www.iso.org/certification.html

Green Seal

green-sealGreen Seal is the nation’s premier ecolabel, symbolizing transparency, integrity and proven environmental leadership. Developing life-cycle-based, multi-attribute standards and certifying the products and services, that can prove they meet our strict criteria for human health, reduced environmental impact and excellent performance. Operating as a nonprofit since its founding in 1989, Green Seal has certified thousands of products and services in over 450 categories, and is specified by countless schools, government agencies, businesses and institutions. Its mission is to transform the economy for a healthier, greener world. Its vision is a healthy society in balance with nature. Website:  https://www.greenseal.org/certification/


reach-certifiedREACH is a regulation of the European Union, adopted to improve the protection of human health and the environment from the risks that can be posed by chemicals, while enhancing the competitiveness of the EU chemicals industry. Promoting alternative methods for the hazard assessment of substances, REACH applies to all chemical substances; not only those used in industrial processes but also in our day-to-day lives. Therefore, the regulation has an impact on most companies across the EU and it places the burden of proof on companies. It stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals. It entered into force on 1 June 2007. Under REACH there are 3 roles: Manufacturer, Importer, Downstream users. Companies need to register and work together following the procedure of REACH. Website:  https://echa.europa.eu/regulations/reach/understanding-reach


leed_certified-5c586582b5501LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. LEED provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings. Its certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement. LEED is in 165 countries and territories. So it works for all building types anywhere. These buildings save energy, water, resources, generate less waste and support human health. Reviewing the Recertification Guide, requirements and process of LEED certification can be understood. Website:  https://new.usgbc.org/leed


greenscreenGreenScreen is a method for chemical hazard assessment designed for identifying the chemicals of high concern and safer alternatives. It is used by industry, government and NGOs to support product design and development, materials procurement, and as part of alternatives assessment to meet regulatory requirements. It can also be used to support environmentally preferable product procurement tools including standards, scorecards and ecolabels. A seal of Greenscreen, a 3rd party validation from one of the world’s most respected ecolabels the product to access to new customers and valuable niche markets, increasing customer loyalty. For details, website: https://www.greenscreenchemicals.org/learn/what-is-greenscreen