FAQ’s : Third-Party Certified

In 2011, the Association of Contract Textiles (ACT) adopted NSF/ANSI 336 as its green standard. NSF/ANSI 336 is a textile-specific tool that measures the sustainability of a product and its manufacturing process against eight parameters. The standard recognizes products that reach Compliant, Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels of compliance across all categories. While a first, second or third party may assess a product with NSF/ANSI 336, the ACT’s definitive sustainability certification program (Facts) only applies to textiles assessed and verified by an authorized third-party. For more information, visit www.contracttextiles.org . ACT FACTS FABRICS BY BRENTANO »
Founded in 1974, the Ecological and Toxicological Association of Dyes and Organic Pigments Manufacturers (ETAD), represents the interests of industries on matters relating to health and the environment. It is an international organization that has member companies around the world. Basing positions in science, ETAD minimizes possible harmful impacts of organic colorants on health and the environment. Member companies must adhere to the ETAD Code of Ethics as well as all national and international chemical regulations. For more information, please visit www.etad.com .
Brentano’s Eco Wool fiber is from Tasmania, Australia. As such, it is produced according to EU Eco-label for textiles. EU Eco-label, comparable to MBDC and GREENGUARD in the US, is an independent organization that promotes environmental protection. It aims to achieve significant environmental improvements by developing, publishing and promoting criteria that push the market forward. The goal is to minimize the environmental impacts of a wide range of products and services over their life-cycle. The product labeling serves to educate the general public on environmental concerns. For more information, please visit www.eco-label.com/ .
The New Zealand Mill that produces Brentano’s Eco Flannel, Eco Satin and Eco Stripe textiles has achieved a silver Enviro-Mark rating. Enviro-Mark is a set of standards designed to help businesses enhance their environmental performance. This mill maintains Enviro-Mark standards and continues demonstrating their commitment to improve the environment. Eighty percent of electrical energy used throughout the mill comes from renewable resources (hydro and wind power), energy usage is reduced through use of high speed energy-efficient looms and seventy-percent of all used cardboard packing is recycled.
Brentano’s Eco Wool textiles Eco Flannel, Eco Satin and Eco Stripe comply with the Environmental Choice New Zealand program, which is a regional program for environmental labeling that began in 1992. Environmental Choice New Zealand publishes product specifications about design, production, marketing and use of products to be more environmentally friendly, and also provides market incentives to offer environmentally preferable products and services. It is an eco-labeling system that seeks to provide a clear and independent guide to help consumers identify eco-friendly products and services. For more information, please visit www.enviro-choice.org.nz .
UL Environment’s GREENGUARD Certification program helps manufacturers create–and helps buyers identify and trust–interior products and materials that have low chemical emissions, improving the quality of the air in which the products are used. All certified products must meet stringent emissions standards based on established chemical exposure criteria. For more information, please visit www.greenguard.org . GREENGUARD CERTIFIED FABRICS BY BRENTANO »
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) aims to define requirements ensuring the organic status of textiles, including harvesting of raw materials, environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing, and labeling, in order to provide end consumers with credible assurance. The GOTS standard covers production, processing, manufacturing, packaging, labeling, exportation, importation and distribution of all natural fibers and may include (but are not limited to) fiber products, yarns, fabrics and clothes. Final products that are produced and manufactured in compliance with the compulsory criteria of the standards will be labeled “Global Organic Textile Standard.” There are two subdivisions of the standard. The first is “organic” or “organic-in conversion” which means that 95% of the fibers must be of certified organic (or in conversion) origin. The remaining 5% may be of non-organic fibers including synthetic materials. The second category is for products containing 70-95% of fibers of certified organic (or in conversion) origin, and will be labeled to reflect the exact percentage. For more information, please visit www.global-standard.org .
One of the first and most renowned international agencies for inspection, certification, and quality assurance of eco-friendly products, the Institute for Marketecology (IMO) has been offering certification for organic production for over 20 years. Additionally, the IMO also addresses natural textiles, sustainable forestry, and social accountability monitoring. They strive to ensure global market access for eco-friendly products by conduction of certification and quality control and by developing specific procedures, transparency, support, and educating personnel. For more information, please visit www.imo.ch .
Created by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), ISO 14001 is a set of international standards pertaining to environmental management systems (EMS). An EMS is a framework that helps a company achieve environmental goals by setting up an individualized environmental policy that sets objectives and targets for improving environmental performance. According to the ISO website (www.iso.org), an EMS meeting the requirements of ISO 14001 is a management tool that enables an organization to “identify and control the environmental impact of its activities, products or services.” It also allows a company to “improve its environmental performance continually and to implement a systematic approach to setting environmental objectives and targets”, as well as achieving these goals and demonstrating how they have been achieved.
Cradle to Cradle (C2C) labeling indicates that a product meets third party certification standards set by McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC). C2C certification provides companies with a means to credibly measure achievement in environmentally-intelligent design and also helps customers purchase and specify eco-friendly products. C2C certification is determined by use of environmentally safe and healthy materials, design for reuse including recycling, use of renewable and efficient energy, water quality and efficiency, and strategies for social responsibility. Products that achieve the necessary criteria can be certified as C2C Silver, Gold, Platinum, or as a Technical/Biological Nutrient. For more information, please visit www.mbdc.com/c2c/ . MBDC Certified Textile by Brentano »
One of the most well-known and successful environmental tests, Oeko-Tex Standard 100 evaluates and screens for any harmful substances present in processed textiles. Founded in 1992, it is an international testing and certification system for textiles with branches in more than 40 countries worldwide. Oeko-Tex uses the latest scientific findings to continually update criteria. For more information, please visit www.oeko-tex.com . Oeko-Tex Certified Fabrics by Brentano »
Founded in California in 1984, Scientific Certification Systems, Inc (SCS) is a neutral third-party certification and assessment body. SCS pledges to deliver professional services that “encourage organizations to establish and maintain practices that support environmental, social and quality goals, and that can be continually improved upon,” as well as to become a global leader in “providing third-party environmental, sustainability, and food quality certification, auditing, testing and standards development.” For more information, please visit www.scscertified.com .
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) explains volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as gases emitted from certain solids or liquids. They include a variety of chemicals which may have short and long-term negative health effects. Because VOCs are consistently higher indoors, it is important to produce interior products that contain low numbers of VOCs. The California Section 01350 test is a small-scale chamber test for materials for interiors, such as paint, wallpaper, and fabric. It is a pass/fail test that evaluates a material for toxic chemicals, including VOCs, at very low levels. Materials must meet stringent California state guidelines. If a material passes, it is deemed suitable for use in the education sector and is listed on the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) website ( www.chps.net). The mission of CHPS is to facilitate design, construction, and operation of schools that are not only energy and resource efficient, but also provide a healthy environment. All the eco-friendly faux leathers in Brentano’s leather category have passed the VOC emissions test California Section 01350. Further testing is in progress.
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System is a third-party certification program that creates and implements universally understood and accepted tools and criteria in order to encourage and accelerate global adoption of sustainable building and development practices. LEED approaches sustainability by recognizing and awarding points based on five key areas of human and environmental health, including: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. For more information, please visit the U.S. Green Building Council website at www.usgbc.org . Possible LEED Points Fabrics by Brentano »
REACH is a European Community Regulation on chemicals and their safe use (EC 1907/2006). It deals with the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical substances, in order to support protection of human health and the environment. The new law entered into force on 1 June 2007. The aim of REACH is to improve the protection of human health and the environment through the better and earlier identification of the intrinsic properties of chemical substances. At the same time, innovative capability and competitiveness of the EU chemicals industry should be enhanced. The benefits of the REACH system will come gradually, as more and more substances are phased into REACH. For more information, please visit the European Community website at http://ec.europa.eu .