A Guide To Understanding Fabric Certifications

Following on from my mini guide series on buying fabric, this blog will cover the main fabric certifications.

When it comes to fabric certifications, there are many that you may have come across while browsing fabrics. Certifications include GOTS, BCI (Better Cotton Initiative), GRS (Global Recycled Standard), Fairtrade, and many more.

While there are many considerations to take into account when buying new fabrics, including understanding fibres and fabric construction (You can read more information about these topics in my latest blogs). Fabric certifications can be confusing and hard to know what to look for, this blog will break down the certifications for you. 

GOTS Organic:

The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) established a globally acknowledged criteria for organic textiles, including everything from the extraction of raw materials to environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing and labelling.

Textiles-certified GOTS offer consumers a reliable assurance. The GOTS certification is categorised by four key features: Organic fibres, ecological and social criteria, all stages of processing, and third-party certification. 

The benefits of buying fabrics with a GOTS certification are that they have undergone environmentally friendly production and processes, while buyers have assurance in quality by using organic fibres. 


BCI – Better Cotton Initiative:

Better Cotton stands at the forefront of the global sustainability initiative for cotton. Its mission is to support the survival and prosperity of cotton communities while protecting and restoring the environment. 

The initiative accomplishes this by educating an expanding workforce in more sustainable farming practices. Fostering collaboration, driving continuous improvement, and leaving a lasting impact.   

Better Cotton Initiative Logo

Oeko-Tex Standard 100:

Oeko-Tex Standard 100 is one of the most globally recognised textile labels that undergo testing for harmful substances. The brand symbolises customer trust and superior product safety. 

Garments with this label assure you as the consumer that every component has been tested for potentially harmful substances. The process of testing considers a wide range of regulated and non-regulated substances that could pose risks to human health.

Oeko Tex Logo

GRS – Global Recycled Standard 

The GRS is a global, voluntary comprehensive product standard that outlines requirements for third-party certification of recycled content.

The goals of GRS include establishing requirements to guarantee good working conditions and minimise harmful environmental and chemical impacts.


The certification by the World Fairtrade Organisation aims to help producers in developing countries to have sustainable relationships. This includes requiring workers to be paid a living wage, and ensuring freedom of association, so workers can unionise. It also requires safe workplaces with special protective equipment, and further working hours are also regulated. 

Fairtrade Logo

From this blog, you should now understand the key fabric certifications to take note of when buying fabrics. These certifications help you make informed decisions when purchasing fabrics.

For more tips on buying fabrics online, I have created a mini-series exploring different fabric construction, sustainability, and fibres which can be found on my blog page.

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Julia Claridge

I was about 6 or 7 years old when I had my first go on a sewing machine, it was an old hand crank machine that my mum used with her patients, she was an occupational therapist. I still vividly remember watching with amazement as the tiny perfectly formed stitches were created as I turned the handle. I Grew up in the 70’s and 80’s when buying clothes was less affordable and dressmaking was an answer to updating your wardrobe more regularly. My own mother was a talented dressmaker who made most of my clothes and my sisters clothes as well as a many for herself. I soon got involved with making my clothes, I loved the whole experience of picking out fabrics, trims and a pattern to create a new outfit, then going home to make a new garment or outfit. When it came to leaving school I visited a careers advisor who asked what I wanted to do next. My answer was ..Sew! Read more...

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