In the age of increasing environmental and ethical awareness, the fashion industry is under growing
scrutiny for its impact on the planet and society. In response, a variety of sustainable indexes have been
developed to measure and communicate the sustainability of fashion products and brands. These indexes help consumers, brands, and industry stakeholders make informed choices and drive positive change. In this article, we’ll explore the different types of sustainable indexes applied to the fashion industry.
- Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)
GOTS is a certification system for organic textiles, including clothing and other fashion products. It evaluates both environmental and social criteria, ensuring that the entire supply chain, from field to finished product, meets strict organic and sustainable standards. GOTS certification indicates that a product is made with organic fibers, has low environmental impact, and meets high social responsibility standards.
- Fair Trade Certification
Fair Trade certification is a social sustainability index that ensures that workers involved in the production of a fashion product are paid fair wages and work in safe conditions. The Fair Trade system also promotes community development and environmental responsibility. When you see the Fair Trade label on clothing, it means the garment has been produced with ethical labor practices.
- Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Certification
C2C is a holistic approach to sustainable design that evaluates fashion products based on their material health, recyclability, water stewardship, and social fairness. The goal is to create products that can be perpetually recycled, reducing waste and environmental impact. C2C certification encourages the use of safe, recyclable materials and promotes closed-loop production processes.
- Bluesign System
Bluesign is an index that focuses on the environmental impact of textile production. It evaluates the entire textile supply chain, from raw materials to finished products. Brands that receive Bluesign certification are recognized for their commitment to reducing water and energy consumption, minimizing chemical use, and ensuring safer and more sustainable production processes.
- Textile Exchange Standards
Textile Exchange is a global non-profit organization that provides a variety of standards and tools for the textile industry. Their standards, like the Organic Content Standard (OCS) and the Responsible Down Standard (RDS), address specific aspects of sustainability, such as the use of organic materials and humane animal welfare practices.
- The Fashion Revolution’s Fashion Revolution Index
The Fashion Revolution Index is an annual publication that ranks major fashion brands based on their transparency, social and environmental efforts. It seeks to shed light on the practices of well-known fashion companies and encourage transparency and accountability in the industry. The index encourages consumers to support brands that prioritize sustainability and transparency.
These are just a few of the sustainable indexes applied to the fashion industry. Each index addresses specific aspects of sustainability, and while they differ in their focus and criteria, they collectively push the industry toward more responsible and ethical practices. As a consumer, understanding and supporting these indexes can empower you to make more informed choices and encourage brands to prioritize sustainability and transparency. In the evolving world of fashion, these metrics play a vital role in shaping the industry’s future.