After thorough research and experiencing the world of sustainable fashion & beauty we selected the values that enables the higher sustainable impact. Those values help us in our selection of products & partners we work and guide you through your purchasing journey. As you navigate through our product pages refer to these pages to fully understand what we mean by each value.
With this value, we look if the fabric of the item is made of organic fibers. These fibers have to be grown according to certain standards, for example without the use of toxic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or genetic engineering. We check this by looking at certifications like the Global Organic Textile Standard and the OCS 100. These also take into account the process of manufacturing, packaging, and distribution of a product. To be given this value, at least 70% of the garment needs to consist of organic fibers. A great example is the label Organic Basics, which produces only from organic materials.
Here at thegreenlabels, this is a prerequisite. We do not accept any labels that cannot provide evidence of an ethical production chain. However, this can be proven in multiple ways. There are certain certifications, such as Fair Trade, WFTO, ISO 3000, and ISO 8000, which we look at. For smaller labels, however, getting certified can be difficult and expensive. That is why we also investigate the connections the labels have with their factories through other information they can provide. Examples of this include audits and photographs.
As an example, you can read more about COSSACs ethical production in our blog post.
made in Europe
We think local production can be a very good thing in the fashion industry, but it is also dependent on a few factors. Because of legislation in Europe, it is often easier to assure good working conditions in factories. Also, as it is closer, there is less transport and less pollution from it, as it is possible to avoid air transportation.
However, this is very dependent on the other stages of the supply chain. Therefore, it is very important to look at where the raw material comes from and what a brand means by “made in …”, as it can also be that only the finishing of a product happens at this location. Also, the working conditions are not provided when producing in Europe. We still find it utterly important to be transparent about wages, labor hours, job security, etc., elements that are also checked in the value of ethical production. All in all, an item is given this value when at least the last two stages of the supply chain are in Europe.
We award an item or label with this value when we think the label is going out of its way to improve the community it is situated in. Examples of this can be: actions to enhance women empowerment or improve farmers’ well-being, providing less-fortunate people with steady jobs, educating the community, or donating to local charities.
A great example is Veja, which is very strongly focused on social issues and community support in Brasil.
No animals harmed or animal-based materials used for the making of the garments matching with this value.
Labels part of this value are using deadstock fabrics, or post-consumer waste to produce their garment. For this, we look at specific certifications, including the Global Recycling Standard (GRS) and the RCS 100.
Within sustainability, transparency is one of the most important matters. It is the main way a label can assure it is not greenwashing, but actually putting in the work. As you might have seen on our website, we add a transparency wheel on the product page of every product we sell. This way, we want to show you what we know about the sourcing and production of the product. Most of the labels we work with openly share where their factories are, and why they have chosen for this location. We will award the transparent value to items if labels can tell us where every step of the supply chain is executed, which translates into a fully filled in transparency wheel on our website.
We think innovation should be rewarded. Finding new ways to produce clothes with less environmental impact is key for the future of the fashion industry. For this value, we look at innovative practices and innovative materials. Examples are Ecovero, a more sustainable way to produce viscose fibers, and Piñatex, a natural leather alternative created from cellulose fibers from pineapple leaves. This value is constantly evolving and will be updated once we find new innovations.
A major aspect of the production of clothes that can be easily overlooked is the use of chemicals in the production process. Think about the chemicals used in cleaning and dyeing garments. This use of chemicals will result in large amounts of wastewater from production processes, which can be heavily contaminated and have a big impact on the freshwater supply of surrounding areas. Also, you wear your clothes on your skin, so it is crucial both for yourself and the environment to dedicate this value considerable attention. One way to check this value is by looking at certifications such as OEKO-TEX, GOTS, and bluesign.
This value is awarded to an item if over 80% of the garment exists of natural fibers. This includes cotton, hemp, linen, wool, leather, and more.
Like good friends we are here to help on your sustainable journey!
Values are here to help you navigate the daunting world of sustainability and help you in your choices. Find those icons on our labels collection page as well as on our product pages. If you have any doubts or questions, let us know via email firstname.lastname@example.org we always enjoy a good sustainability chat!
Packaging can play a huge role in the sustainability of a product. Once you finish the product, this is what remains. It is in fact what generates the most waste. There are a lot of options for packaging, and it is not always clear what can be considered more sustainable. It can be ‘packaging-free’, recycled plastic, glass, or other innovative material such as corn or sugarcane plastic. We award this value when we think the brand is making extra efforts to create more sustainable packaging.
Here we look at whether the ingredients are of natural origin. To be awarded this value, at least 90% of the ingredients need to be natural. For this, we look at the ECOCERT cosmos natural certification, and the ingredients list.
A beauty product can be labeled organic if over 95% of the plant-based ingredients are organic, and at least 20% of the total ingredients are organic. This can be checked with the ECOCERT cosmos organic certification.
vegan & cruelty-free
No animals harmed or used for the making of the products matching this value. This can be certified by PETA and Leaping Bunny.
made in Europe
Local production is valued. If the product is produced closer, there is less transport and less pollution from it, as it is possible to avoid air transportation. However, this is very dependent on the other stages in the supply chain. Therefore, it is very important to look at where the raw material comes from. As traceability is difficult in the beauty industry, we will mostly be looking at the production location for this value.
Here at thegreenlabels, this is a prerequisite. Labels we work with provide information that their products are ethically produced. In the beauty industry it is difficult to trace raw materials back to the source. That is why the working conditions of the ingredients’ producers can be unknown. There are a lot of small producers that do not have certifications because it is too expensive. We trust labels that they check on their ingredients, as it is not possible for us to control this otherwise. However, we ask our labels to provide as much information as they can and we urge them to make sure this is in order.
We think innovation should be rewarded. Finding new ways to produce products with less environmental impact is very important for the future. For this value, we look at innovative practices, innovative ingredients, and innovative packaging. This value is constantly evolving and will be updated once we find new innovations.
We award an item or brand with this value when we think the brand is going out of its way to improve the community it is situated in. Examples of this can be: actions to enhance women empowerment or improve farmers’ well-being, providing less-fortunate people with steady jobs, educating the community, or donating to local charities.
Transparency is difficult overall, but in the beauty industry even more. Ingredient lists are long and raw material comes from everywhere. We award a label with this value if they can provide us with information about where they source their ingredients.