Wednesday, 26 April 2017

5 Fair Fashion Organisations to Know

Not only the perpetrator of fashion—such as the designers and manufacturers—and the supporter of fashion—such as the influencers and media, there are organisations and foundations out there who make it their mission to support the fashion revolution. These organisations sometimes offer certifications to labels and manufacturers who want to try and change for the better. One of the ways to identify if a label is making a positive change is by looking at the certification—with the long list of requirements on how a certain party could obtain the certification, to ensure legibility. I think it's a great way for us to learn more about the fashion industry and the direction it is going. So here are some of the organisations we should know...

MADE-BY

Founded in 2004, this NPO has a mission to make sustainable fashion common practice. Through targeted consultancy, partnerships and stakeholder engagement, they work with over 100 brands and retailers, including H&M, Hugo Boss, Ted Baker and Tommy Hilfiger. With a global team with offices in Amsterdam, London and Düsseldorf—as well as extensive expert network in Asia—their transparent and verified progress-tracking tool supports fashion brands in improving their sustainability performance. 

FAIR WEAR FOUNDATION

This organisation works with brands, factories, trade unions, NGOs, influencers and sometimes governments to verify and improve the workplace conditions in 11 production countries in Asia, Europe and Africa. Based in Europe, FWF has more than 80 member companies representing over 120 brands. Their approach comes in fourfold: multi-stakeholder DNA, process approach, verification and transparency. They're working with brands, such as Armedangels and Jack Wolfskin. Read all about their labour standards here and their projects here.

WORLDWIDE RESPONSIBLE ACCREDITED PRODUCTION

Headquartered in Virginia, USA—with offices in Hong Kong and Dhaka, full-time staff in India, Thailand and Vietnam, WRAP is an independent objective, non-profit team dedicated to promoting safe, lawful, humane and ethical manufacturing around the world. Their primary activity is their certification program, mainly focused on the apparel, footwear, and sewn products sector—varying between 3 months and 2 years, based on a facility's compliance with their 12 principles. Aside from that, they also provide a comprehensive training program throughout the world.

GLOBAL ORGANIC TEXTILE STANDARD

Comprised of four reputed member organisations—OTA (USA), IVN (Germany), Soil Association (UK) and JOCA (Japan)—GOTS benefits from their respective expertise in organic farming and environmentally and socially responsible textile processing. Their vision is that organic textiles will become a significant part of everyday life, enhancing people's lives and the environment. Only textile products that contain a minimum of 70% organic fibres can obtain the GOTS certification. The chemical inputs, such as dyestuffs and auxiliaries, must also meet certain environmental and toxicological criteria.

POSITIVE LUXURY: BRANDS WE CAN TRUST

Now this is one organisation that connects the consumer with luxury brands in various fields, including fashion and accessories. Founded in 2011, they make a brand's social and environmental actions accessible and help people identify brands that care to make a difference. Their mission is to close the trust gap between brands and consumers. The criteria for their certification—their signature butterfly symbol—include governance (employing responsible leadership), social framework, environmental framework, philanthropy and innovation.

These are only a select few of the fair fashion organisations available out there, of course. You can find other certifications and organisations here. You can also check how sustainable or ethical a fashion label is on the Good On You app—available on both iOS and Android—and browse sustainable and fair clothing brands as well as suppliers and manufacturers on Ethical Fashion Forum. If you want more information locally, always be on the look out and don't hesitate to check out Facebook groups, for instance. Who knows? You might find one closer than you think.

Let me know if you have other organisations to recommend!


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