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Mastering Textile Certificate Management: A Comprehensive Guide

Marie Petitalot
Marie Petitalot
Market intelligence analyst
Published on
August 24, 2023

The fashion and luxury industry is evolving to propose a new sustainable and responsible model.

Consumers, retailers, e-commerce platforms, and legislation are demanding more transparency and commitments from brands. Initiating your transformation and going further in your social and environmental initiatives has become a priority to stand out.

One of the first initiatives to implement is to choose certified materials and suppliers. Standards such as GOTS, OEKO-TEX, OCS, GRS (to name a few) provide consumers with reference points and protect your brand against various issues during clothing production. Opting for these labels represents a significant cost for your brand, but it is undoubtedly a worthwhile investment if you know how to effectively showcase it.

→ How can you authenticate a certificate?
→ What is the difference between a product certificate and a supplier certificate?
→ Under what circumstances can you communicate about these labels?

In this article, we share best practices for authenticating your certification documents, understanding nuances, and legitimately communicating about your certified garments.

How to ensure that the certificate is valid?


1. Carefully read the certificate and pay particular attention to four key pieces of information:

  1. The validity date
  2. Supplier data: the name, address, and license number - that you can use to verify the supplier through the freely accessible GOTS database (for reference only: remember to check the consistency of the available data).
  3. The name of the certification body, which should correspond to one of the approved entities by the label. The list is available here. This allows you to access the guidelines from each certifying body to authenticate the certificates they have issued.
  4. The list of products or "product categories" covered by the certification.

2. If you have any doubts or find incorrect information or an expired validity date, contact your supplier and specify your request. It is most probably just a mistake. For your information, GOTS, OEKO-TEX, or Textile Exchange certificates need to be renewed each year, and suppliers can often struggle to manage all their certifications and clients' requests!

3. If your supplier is uncooperative or fails to provide the correct certificates, contact the certification body directly, as mentioned on the certificate (the list of contacts is available here), and provide them with the supplier's name and license number.


The verification process described above for GOTS certificates can be replicated for Textile Exchange certificates as well:

1. Carefully read the certificate and verify its validity using the list of certified companies or the list of certification bodies. If the document is a transaction certificate, you can authenticate it by conducting a search in the dedicated database. However, please note that Textile Exchange is still refining this database, and some valid certificates might be missing. If you can't find a transaction certificate there, refer to the verification instructions provided by the certifying body that issued the certificate.

2. If in doubt or if there is any inconsistency, contact your supplier and specify your request.

3. Contact the certification body directly. Depending on the certification body, you can find here the details of the procedure to follow.


1. Just like with GOTS and Textile Exchange, carefully read the certificate (validity date, supplier information, list of relevant products). To verify its authenticity, you have several options:

  1. Scan the QR Code on the certificate, which redirects to Oeko-Tex's certificate verification page.
  2. Enter the certificate number on the Oeko-Tex's certificate verification page.
  3. Conduct an advanced search.

2. If you have any doubts, consult the list of certificates that have been revoked by Oeko-Tex, or contact your supplier and specify your request.

3. Contact the certification body directly. The list of bodies by country with associated contacts is accessible through this link.

What is the difference between a supplier certificate and a product certificate?


The certification body issues two types of GOTS certificates:

1. The scope certificate attests that the supplier is capable of conducting its activities according to GOTS standards for the products listed in the certificate's appendix(Template Scope certificate GOTS)The supplier is then considered a "GOTS certified supplier" and is listed in the database of GOTS certified suppliers. The facilities and subcontractors inspected and evaluated for the certification of that supplier are listed in the scope certificate's appendix (Facility Appendix of the Scope Certificate) but are not mentioned in the database of certified suppliers.

2. The transaction certificate attests that the product meets GOTS criteria. A product is labeled GOTS when all stakeholders in the production chain have undergone an on-site inspection(Template Transaction certificate GOTS).

Good to know: Many brands only request the supplier certificate (scope certificate), which is easier for the supplier to share as it is the same for all clients. However, the product certificate (transaction certificate) is the one that matters for the final product.
Find here all details about different types of GOTS certificates.


The Textile Exchange standards' certificates have aligned with GOTS certificates. You can refer to the explanations above to distinguish between the scope certificate and the transaction certificate.

You can also refer to the resources available on the Textile Exchange website: the database of certified suppliers or the explanations with diagrams about the various types of Textile Exchange certificates.


Oeko-Tex has developed several standards, and different types of certificates are issued depending on the standards:

  1. STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® and LEATHER STANDARD by OEKO-TEX® issue product certificates. These certifications subject the product to a series of tests and focus on chemicals directly associated with it.
  2. STeP by OEKO-TEX® and DETOX TO ZERO analysis by OEKO-TEX® issue supplier certificates. They focus on implementing industrial processes that aim to improve their social and environmental practices.
  3. MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX® issues both product and supplier certificates. This standard is equivalent to combining STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® or LEATHER STANDARD by OEKO-TEX® with STeP by OEKO-TEX® . It identifies textiles that have been tested for harmful substances and are manufactured under sustainable working conditions.

For more information on the product and supplier certificates of different Oeko-Tex labels, please refer to their official resources here.

Under which circumstances are you allowed to communicate about these labels?


Be cautious about communicating the label to your customers. GOTS specifies on its website that it will take action against brands or retailers that misuse the label on their e-commerce sites, which could result in a fine.

To associate the label with your garment and communicate about it, you must have three documents:

  1. The scope certificate
  2. The transaction certificate
  3. The certifier release (the QR code that validates the GOTS labeling for the product)

These are three documents that your supplier should be able to provide you with!


Textile Exchange allows two types of communications:

  1. General communication at brand level regarding your Textile Exchange commitments ("general marketing claims"). For example, you can mention the standards in the "commitments" section of your website, in your annual reports, advertisements, or social media.
  2. Communication at product level ("product-related claims") is allowed under certain conditions for the final product:
    - Every actor in the value chain - up to the brand - must be certified.
    - The last actor in the certified value chain must possess a valid scope certificate mentioning the product in question and a valid transaction certificate for all claimed materials and products purchased.
    - The product must contain the minimum required amount of certified materials.
    - Any claim related to the product and the graphics of the label/banner associated with it must be approved by the certification body.
    - Only certified companies are allowed to attach a printed claim (e.g., hangtags, sewn-in labels) to the certified products. Brands and retailers that do not require certification must, therefore, ask their directly certified supplier to attach the hangtags.

Find all the details on marketing claims and product labelling here.


To be able to associate the STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® and LEATHER STANDARD by OEKO-TEX® labels, all components of the garment must be tested and certified (meaning, every thread, button, or accessory!).

Also, be very cautious about label usage; OEKO-TEX scrutinizes mentions of the label on e-commerce sites and takes action against both small and large brands that do not comply with the conditions.

Checklist to remember

Three best practices to implement in managing your certifications:

Verify the validity of your documents (by accessing the label database - for reference - or by contacting the certification body).
Collect and centralize your product and supplier certifications (note that certifications need to be renewed annually).
Implement a validation process for label communication (once you are sure you meet all the conditions).

Production and Quality