Certificates and meanings
What do all the brands mean?
For us, this means that we try to offer you as sustainable goods as possible, where everything from raw materials to working conditions is in "order". So what do we mean by that, and how do we do it? We use independent labeling schemes that check everything from raw materials to working conditions. You can read more about it all right here!
GOTS is currently the leading certification within ecological and social standards in the clothing industry. The GOTS certification has some high requirements and criteria for the process that takes place from the cultivation of the raw materials to the finished product.
They go up in the welfare of the people involved in the production. For example, they place high demands on the workers in the various stages to have good conditions, such as proper lighting, ventilation, breaks, no use of harmful chemicals and the opportunity to start trade unions, etc.
With a GOTS certification, you can also be sure that e.g. the cotton is grown organically, dyed and treated without the use of harmful chemicals and that it is of a high quality. These are art textiles / products that contain a minimum of 70% organic fibers that can be GOTS-certified. We at Be A Wear often have a much higher standard for the finished product and like to go for as high percentages of organic material as possible in the goods we buy.
GOTS also has a requirement that the production has a functional treatment plant for wastewater if water is used in the production to protect the environment. There are regular quality checks at the various stages of the productions. They are out unannounced and also interview employees about their own experience of their workplace. They do quality checks on machines and not least the textiles. They do laboratory tests and test the textiles for pesticide residues and other dangerous chemicals from, for example, dyeing. They also have strict requirements for which colors may be used in a GOTS-certified production, so that there are no residues in the clothes from colors that are suspected or proven to be allergenic and carcinogenic. Any marks and accessories on the product must also comply with the GOTS requirements.
The FAIRTRADE certification helps farmers and farm workers. A Fairtrade certification ensures a minimum wage, good working conditions and sustainable production. For the farmer, this means that their rights are protected and they are helped to make their production more environmentally friendly and therefore protect the environment and their own health. For companies with this certification, this means that they must deposit the minimum wage from those they buy from, so that if, for example, cotton falls in price, then the farmers have a guaranteed minimum price for their crops. If the price of cotton rises, you follow the increase.
Fairtrade distributes bonuses to local farmers and workers. The bonus is a sum of money that is paid out on top of the minimum price or the minimum wage. Farmers use the bonus to improve their business or community. It is decided democratically in a committee how the bonus should be invested and distributed. Most farmers who are part of the labeling scheme are cooperatives, where they all have a share in the enterprise. This means that the farmers as a whole can supply larger batches of raw materials, which means that they are better off in the market.
Fairtrade goes in and checks if the different standards are met. Once these requirements are met, manufacturers can be allowed to use the Fairtrade label on their products and packaging. In Be A wear, for example, Dedicated and Melawear are not only GOTS certified, also Fairtrade certified.
FAIR WEAR FOUNDATION
FAIR WEAR FOUNDATION is a non-profit organization that works with brands, factories, governments and NGOs. They are doing this to improve jobs around 11 production countries in Asia, Europe and Africa. Fair Wear focuses on factories that produce clothing, bags and the like. In addition to visiting the factories to ensure the good standards, they have also set up a hotline for the workers in the countries in which they are active. This means that the employees always have a place to go if the conditions do not live up to the criteria set by the Fair Wear Foundation. The organization has set up 8 points that must be met in order to obtain this certification.
No forced or child labor may be used. Employment, pay policy, training programs, dismissal and dismissals must be based on the principle that everyone has the same opportunities and that no distinction is made between people. In addition, salaries and bonuses paid as a minimum must cover a family's need to survive. An employee's working week must be a maximum of 48 hours and have at least one day off per week. Finally, there must be an awareness of the occupational risks that may exist, so that the employees are ensured a safe and healthy working environment. All of this is something that we here at Be A Wear really care about.
The SA8000 certification is made by Social Accountability International (SAI). SAI is a 1997 NGO with a mission to promote human rights in the workplace and has a goal of getting workers, businesses and the local community to work together. They do this by setting some requirements and criteria for companies and manufacturers if they want to use their certifications.
These criteria include rules that under no circumstances may child laborers be used or forced labor used. The safety of employees is a priority, and so is their health. They must have the opportunity to have the freedom to create associations and make collective bargaining in their workplace, which can, for example, deal with wages and working hours. There must be no discrimination and everyone must have equal opportunities in the company and all staff must be treated with dignity and respect. It is closely monitored whether any kind of punishment is needed, whether it is physical / verbal or mental. They have also set rules regarding working hours, overtime and not least that the minimum wage must be high enough for a family to survive in the specific country the company is in. Finally, the management must inform their employees that they will now comply with the SA8000 standards, and tell them about their rights.
The company's compliance with these rules is closely monitored by SAI sending representatives to them on announced and unannounced visits to ensure that the company continues to live up to the standard. Every three years, the process starts all over again and the certification must be renewed
Oeko-tex® Standard 100
Oeko-tex® Standard 100 is one of the most well-known standards in textiles. In addition, it is also your global guarantee that the clothes do not contain harmful substances. Products with this brand are subject to very strict requirements, which they must always be able to live up to. When you as a consumer choose a product that is marked with Oeko-tex® Standard 100, you can be sure that all parts of the clothes have been thoroughly tested in an independent Oeko-tex® laboratory. Suppliers must apply for the right to and bear this mark each year. The products are also inspected during the period in which they are certified
The intention behind Oeko-tex® means that the products must be human-organic, which means that the textiles must not have a harmful effect on humans.
There are requirements for the content of acid and the PH value, in addition there are also requirements for pesticides that have been used to control pests. One is also aware of the content of heavy metals such as chromium, nickel, cobalt, antimony, cadmium, arsenic, lead and mercury. In addition, there is also a focus on what materials are used for decolorization and impregnation of the clothes.
Intentionen bag Oeko-tex® betyder produkterne skal være human-økologiske hvilket betyder, at tekstilerne ikke skal have en skadelig virkning på mennesker.
Der stilles krav til indhold af syre og PH-værdien, derudover stilles der også krav til pesticider som er brugt til bekæmpelse af skadedyr. Man er også opmærksom på indholdet af tungmetaller som krom, nikkel, kobolt, antimon, kadmium, arsen, bly og kviksølv. Derudover er der også fokus på hvilke materialer man benytter til affarvning og imprægnering af tøjet.
Why choose organic cotton?
Conventional cotton and organic cotton are two concepts you hear a lot about, and there is a big reason for that. The organic cotton is something you hear more and more about, and we are really happy about that at Be A Wear. When you choose organic cotton, you choose the environment, social responsibility and your own and the health of the cotton workers first.
It all starts in the field and with the seed that will one day turn into a cotton plant. In organic farming it is not allowed to use genetically modified seeds. This is the case in conventional agriculture and here the sale of cotton seeds is controlled by the giant Monsanto, which holds 90% of the cotton seed market in India * 1. Monsanto is known for selling genetically modified seeds and the "RoundUp" herbicide discussed. This means that many farmers cannot keep up financially and have to succumb to the economic pressure. Unfortunately, there have been examples of GMO seeds not being able to keep their promise that their seeds can withstand various pests 2 *. This means that farmers have to spend even more money on pesticides and insecticides. The health of the peasants is being severely affected. Mouth and respiratory cancers are among the diseases seen in conventional agriculture due to the use of pesticides. According to a UN report, 200,000 people die annually in conventional agriculture. 3 77 million cotton workers are poisoned by pesticides every year3 *. Cotton work is often given the title "slow death work". 10% of the world's total consumption of pesticides, as well as 16% of insecticides are spent on spraying traditional cotton fields, which cover only about 5% of the world's agricultural land. Up to 9 kg of chemicals are used for 10 kg of ordinary cotton!
In addition to harming the environment and making the land more and more depleted due to mono-cropping, there are also many farmers who choose to commit suicide because they cannot get out of their debt spiral. In addition to higher costs for pesticides and insecticides, the price of cotton has also fallen sharply. As organic cotton is more expensive, farmers who grow organic cotton earn more. If it is also Fairtrade certified, they are guaranteed an even higher minimum price.
In organic cotton production, farmers have full control over their seeds and can also sow other crops in their fields, which can feed their families between the cotton, and if the cotton harvest should fail 4 *. Organic farming also means that the soil does not become depleted and can hold on to more water. This means that crops do better in drought and less watering is another advantage. The healthy organic field also binds more CO2.
1 soilassociation.org - Failed promises
2 upi.com - Estimates pesticide kills