Labeling

Labeling & Making Claims

Labeling & Making Claims

Once you have started sourcing certified products, you might be wondering how to tell the world about the big commitments you’ve made. Anytime you mention Textile Exchange standards, it’s important to follow our guidelines for standards claims. These guidelines help protect the credibility of the standards and the hard work everyone is doing along the supply chain.

What is a Standards Claim?

Any statement that mentions or references a Textile Exchange standard. These claims may include any combination of logo use, text claims, and/or links to additional information that mention the standard.

There are two types of claims that are used to communicate about a standard: general marketing claims and product-specific claims, both of which can be used in business-to-business or consumer-facing communications. 

General Marketing Claims

When a company refers to standards without mentioning a specific product or product category, these are called general marketing claims. 

Who can make a general marketing claim?

Certified Company

How can they use a general marketing claim?

Sharing that they meet the requirements of a standard

Non-Certified Company

How can they use a general marketing claim?

Limited to commitments of use, future use or percentage or volume goals, or currently purchasing certified products

Certification Body

How can they use a general marketing claim?

Indicating they are authorized to provide certification services

Media, NGOs, Academia, etc.

How can they use a general marketing claim?

Providing information about a standard to the general public

Example usages for general marketing claims include: 

  • corporate commitments, targets, sustainability strategies, or annual reports 
  • information on a website  (not specific to a certified product)
  • banners at a trade show 
  • mention of the standard in an advertisement 
  • catalogue or point-of-sale marketing (not specific to a certified product)

Product-Specific Claims

Product-specific claims are used to indicate or imply that a product or line of products are certified or contain certified content.  These claims may be made on or off the product. 

Examples of product-specific claims include: 

  • hangtags  
  • clothing labels  
  • online product description  
  • catalogue product description  
  • point-of sale marketing where the claim is connected to a specific product 

Eligibility for Making Product-Specific Claims

Only products that meet each of the requirements below are eligible for product-specific claims:

1. The final product is certified up to the seller in the last business to business transaction.
     a. If a brand is selling direct to consumers, they are not required to be certified.
     b. If a brand is selling to a retailer, the brand is required to be certified.

2. The final certified product contains the minimum required certified material. 

    wdt_ID OCS Blended OCS 100 RCS Blended RCS 100 GRS RDS RWS RMS

3. Any product-specific claims and associated label/hangtag artwork is approved by a certification body (CB) – see claims-making process below.

4. A valid scope certificate (SC) is held by the final certified company and includes the correct product category.

5. Printed claims (e.g. hangtags, sewn-in labels) are physically attached to certified products by certified companies only.
     a. Brands and retailers who do not require certification must request that their direct certified supplier apply hangtags.

Essential Elements of a Product-Specific Claim

All instances of product-specific claims must include the following:

1. The appropriate standard logo and percentage of certified material based on the chart below.

wdt_ID     OCS Blended logo OCS 100 logo RCS Blended logo RCS 100 logo GRS logo RDS logo RWS logo RMS logo

2. A reference to the last certified company. (at least one of either: name, logo – as it appears on the scope certificate – or certification number provided by the CB).

3. A reference to the responsible certification body of the last certified organization. (name and/or logo of the CB)
     a. Example: “Certified by ABC Cert”

Claims and standards logos may include additional language as long as it is true, accurate, and not misleading. See the standard’s Logo Use and Claims Guide for more information.

Claims-Making Process 

If a product-specific claim is being made, ensure the product meets the eligibility criteria for “full-product certification.”
1
Request the standard logo from the relevant certification body (CB).
2
Design artwork following relevant guidance document.
3
Request and fill in a  Label Release Form  from the relevant CB.
4
Submit the  Label Release Form  along with a digital copy of your artwork to the relevant CB.
5
Await feedback or approval from the relevant CB and make any adjustments necessary.
6
Attach* the label or publish your artwork.
7

*Reminder: only certified organizations are permitted to physically attach the label to your product, so please coordinate this with your direct certified supplier . 

Timeline

From the time of submitting the  Label Release Form (request from CB)  along with initial artwork until final approval, the estimated processing time is two weeks. This may vary between certification bodies and is dependent upon the artwork fully complying with the guidelines and the product being certified. Be sure to allow enough time for the artwork approval process. 

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