As labels incorporate sustainability into their brand strategy, it becomes increasingly difficult to determine who is sustainable, and who is not. In order to combat this, many companies look to independent organizations to certify their sustainability. Their hope is that the transparency will help customers differentiate them from other companies.
Organizations that offer certifications establish and enforce environmental quality standards. If a company meets those standards, they are rewarded with a certificate or seal that they can officially publicize to the marketplace. “In a situation when a consumer is choosing between two equally viable options in terms of quality, convenience, and price, a sustainable certificate can tip the scales in favor of a company who has it versus the one who doesn’t," says retail strategy executive Ana Andjelic.
An example of this type of certification is the the BLUESIGN certification, which tracks the the manufacturing process of a textile. It suggests improvements in sustainability by following the textile from the factory all the way until it is a finished product. Another type of sustainability certificate is the Oeko-Tex Standard 100, which determines whether materials are safe and free from harmful chemicals. ISO also has its own certification, the ISO 14001, that measures a company's water, energy, paper and plastic use. Companies that have turned to these different certifications include Faherty and Carriagi.
To learn more, read the Forbes article here.