Sustainability Credentials Explained
We’re passionate about protecting the outdoors we love, and part of our ongoing commitment to making a positive change for the planet is to champion the sustainable products on offer from the brands we work with. To help our customers shop with the environment in mind, we’ve introduced sustainability filters to our website – but with so many on the list, we know it can be hard to know what it all means. This sustainability credentials jargon buster is here to solve all your woes – happy sustainable shopping!
1% For The Planet
1% for the Planet represents a global network of businesses, individuals and nonprofit organisations tackling our planet's most pressing environmental issues through philanthropic support. Brands with this label are committed to giving 1% of their annual sales or salary to environmental causes.
Bluesign® is all-encompassing when it comes to sustainability criteria. Put simply, it's a holistic system that helps brands to implement sustainable processing and manufacturing. Bluesign® certification relies on a brand or product to continuously meet strict criteria, which encompasses acting responsibly to people, the environment and resources. If a product is Bluesign® approved, you know it’s been manufactured with social and environmental responsibility firmly in mind.
Brands that make a charity contribution either donate a percentage of their proceeds or contribute a share of their profits to an environmental charity.
Fairtrade is all about providing good working conditions, fair prices and protecting the local environment. Buying Fairtrade helps ensure that the farmers who help produce a product have a better standard of living, better financial stability and more incentive to farm using eco-friendly methods.
The Fairtrade Certification system is a rigorous certification process to audit producers, traders and companies. It checks compliance with Fairtrade economic, social and environmental standards, including ensuring producers receive the Fairtrade Minimum Price and Premium.
Fair Wear Foundation
The Fair Wear Foundation work with brands to find a better way to make clothes. They support garment industry workers to realise their rights to safe, dignified, properly paid employment. They focus on the most labour-intensive parts of the supply chain - specifically sewing, cutting and trimming - to make fashion fairer for everyone.
Also known as Green Button, this is a government-run certification for sustainable textiles. It demands products meet 46 stringent social and environmental criteria that cover a spectrum of issues from wastewater to forced labour to protect people and the environment.
Hemp or Jute
Cotton and similar fibres are age-old favourites for making clothing, but often, unsustainable methods are used when farming them to keep up with global demand. The result is the erosion of soil health and fertility, meaning that more land is needed to farm the same volume of fibres as time goes on. Hemp is a sustainable alternative because it uses far less water than conventional cotton to yield much more fibre and makes garments just as soft next to the skin as cotton.
Wearing our clothes for longer is one of the best things we can do for the planet. The Lifetime Guarantee offers a guarantee for the useful life of a product to help you make the most of it.
Oeko-Tex® "Made in Green" Accreditation
Oeko-tex® is a trademark representing the certifications provided by the International Association for Research and Testing in the Field of Textile and Leather Ecology. It consists of 18 institutes across Europe and Japan, which aim to develop standards for the textile and leather industry that ensure quality products and, where possible, sustainable production methods. These certifications cover a range of sustainability issues; for example, Oeko-tex® Leather Standard signifies that leather products have been tested for harmful substances leather products. You can find out what individual Oeko-tex® marks mean but overall, an Oeko-tex® certified product means that it’s produced with high quality and human and environmental health in mind.
Oeko-tex® Standard 100 signifies every component of a textile product from thread to buttons have been tested for harmful substances. It means you can be confident that the product you choose is harmless to human health.
You’re most likely to see “organic” on fabrics like cotton. Organic means the fibre has been grown from non-GM plants without synthetic agricultural chemicals like fertilisers or pesticides, apart from those specified by the certifying body. Products produced organically put fewer harmful chemicals into the air, soil and surrounding water and reduce the risk to local biodiversity.
(Partly) Recycled Material
This label tells you that some recycled materials have gone into making the product. For more information about how much and what kind of recycled content is included, you should take a look at the production description or label.
Items labelled PFC-free must be able to demonstrate that they’re 100% PFC free using evidence. So why is it so important? Per- and poly-fluorinated chemicals (PFC) are man-made chemicals commonly used in durable water repellent (DWR) coatings. Although highly effective, these chemicals are harmful and can remain in the environment for years after their release.
If you see the label recycled cotton, then at least 20% of the weight of the garment must be made from recycled cotton i.e. cotton that would have otherwise gone to landfill.
This means that the product is at least partially made from recycled materials, i.e. ones that otherwise would have gone to landfill. Individual products will specify which materials or amounts are recycled, so be sure to check this out if you want to know more.
Products with this label are made of at least 50% recycled plastic. Using recycled plastics helps keep plastic out of landfill and gives it a new lease of life.
Products made from responsible down and feathers come from animals that haven’t been subjected to unnecessary harm.
When you see the term responsible wool, you can rest assured that 100% of the wool content is accredited by the Responsible Wool Standard, ZQ Natural Fibres, or Nativa.
Other Terms To Consider
The above terms cover the main tags we use to help you filter products to find more sustainable products. However, there are some other terms in our product descriptions that may also be important to you.
When a garment is traceable, it means the brand can identify every step of its journey from raw materials to finished product. That makes it easier to assess suppliers against sustainability criteria - and the “air miles” that go into making a product.
Vegan in the context of outdoor kit means the same as it does with food – no animal products are used! It includes obvious ones like real leather, as well as the lesser-known animal products like those sometimes used in footwear glue.
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