These questions and their answers are primarily based on standards that use the transaction certificate system, unless noted otherwise. We focus on these standards because they offer the highest level of chain of-custody integrity, which we feel is a critical element of certification.
Disclaimer: The information included in this fact sheet is designed to provide general information only. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, it does not constitute legal or other professional advice.
Textile Exchange cannot be held responsible for the contents of this fact sheet or any subsequent loss resulting from the use of the information contained herein.
Q1. What is a voluntary standard?
Q2. Why would I use a voluntary standard?
Q3. Why would I use a chain of custody standard?
Q4. How do I decide which is the best voluntary processing standard to be certified against?
Q5. I’m a brand – how do I get my products certified to the standards I choose?
Q6. I’m a mill – how do I get my products certified?
Q7. Is there a standard to prove that my product contains a specific raw material fiber but does not make any other claims?
Q8. What is the minimum certification that I need to legally label my products with organic?
Q9. If I do not want to use a voluntary standard can I simply call my product ‘organic’? What about ‘recycled’?
Q10. If I want to label my product as ‘made with fiber X’, to what level do I need to certify to?
Q11. How long is certification valid?
Q12. How essential is the transaction certificate?
Q13. Is having a garment transaction certificate enough document proof to make your claim on your product?
Q14. Is there a tracking system to ensure the authenticity of the final product?
Q15. Can TE influence the certification bodies on the fees (certification and transaction certificate) being charged?
Q16. What are the ways TE is trying to ensure that any challenges with certification are minimized?
Q17. What efforts are being made to promote these standards to the public? I don’t see any major brands using the OE or GOTS label. Why not?
Q18. Do retailers that import goods (certified products) need to be certified? What about brands/ retailers?
Q19. Do importers dealing with certified products need to be certified and pay a fee?
Q20. How do you define a site when considering the license and certification fees?
Q21. If two separate companies are located at the same address, do they each have to hold their own certification?
Q22. May a company be certified to the same standard by more than one certifying body?
Q23. Do traders, exporters and importers all need to be certified to the voluntary processing standards?
Q24. Are certification bodies required to mention the non-inspected sub-contracted sites (i.e. those defined as non-core operations) on the certificate?
Q25. Can a core operation that is sub-contracted be inspected as part of the contracting unit’s certification?
Q26. Can sewing be a sub-contracted operation, and therefore exempt from inspection?
Q27. Can dyeing be a sub-contracted operation, and therefore exempt from inspection?