Some of the most environmentally friendly, socially conscious clothing items are Bluesign certified. Eco-conscious consumers looking for greener products of every kind can trust the Bluesign certification.
Bluesign is a sustainability standard that guarantees the highest level of security for consumers. It considers especially the chemical composition of textile products to ensure healthy and safe materials.
Headquartered in Switzerland, Bluesign Technologies develops the Bluesign certification. Bluesign is an internationally recognized standard used in many countries in Europe, Asia, and North-America.
To become Bluesign certified, manufacturers must disclose all relevant information and ensure complete transparency and traceability of all processing steps down to the raw materials.
Bluesign not only checks the final product sold to the end consumer but also all materials and intermediate products created within the production chain.
Here is everything you need to know about the Bluesign certification, one of the best certification standards for textiles.
The Bluesign certification guarantees the following:
- free of harmful substances
- safety for businesses, consumers, and the environment
- lower air emissions
- reduced water emissions
- increased resource productivity
- more production transparency and trust
The Bluesign certification applies to the following textile products:
- garments, clothes, and final textile products
- decorative materials
- home textiles
The Bluesign certification applies to the following supply chain sites:
- production sites
- fiber manufacturers
- textile manufacturers
- garment manufacturers
- chemical suppliers
- leather processors
- down and feather processors
The Bluesign certification is voluntary and not required by law.
Bluesign achieves the best performance through the following:
- optimized resource consumption
- minimum air and water emissions
- use of eco-efficient products
- minimized energy and material input per kg of textile product
Bluesign tests for the following chemicals:
- Carcinogenic substances
- Mutagenic substances
- Neurotoxic substances
- Endocrine substances
- Sensitizing and irritating substances
- And others
What is Bluesign?
The Bluesign standard is one of the most efficient ways to guarantee compliance with the newest environment, health, and safety standards, without compromising functionality, quality, or design of products.
The first version of the Bluesign standard was released in 2000 to answer the demand for environmentally friendly textile products. Patagonia was the first apparel brand to become a Bluesign system partner.
Bluesign provides a comprehensive production control system to limit the human health and environmental impacts of textile manufacturing.
Bluesign uses an Input Stream Management system to audit all components and processes along the textile value chain, resulting in an entirely safe finished product.
Overall, Bluesign guarantees sustainable production processes as well as high levels of safety both for human beings and the environment.
Manufacturers, brands, and retailers wishing to join the Bluesign system can use the following tools:
- Blueguide, a list of Bluesign approved textile products and their producers
- Bluefinder, a database of approved chemicals and dyes from system partner suppliers
- Bluetool, a chemical evaluation tool that analyzes substances before they can become Bluesigned approved
Bluesign rates chemicals in an extensive database and gives them the following colors:
- Blue for Bluesign approved chemicals that are clear to use
- Silver for chemicals usable with good management
- Black for chemicals to avoid completely
The Bluesign certification is one of the best-known labels for textiles tested for harmful substances in the world. It certifies high product safety in the global apparel and footwear industry.
Bluesign guarantees that products are harmless to the human environment. It takes into account many regulated and non-regulated substances, which may be harmful to human health.
Bluesign also ensures the use of sustainable processes in textile manufacturing. It guarantees environmentally friendly and socially responsible working conditions.
Bluesign is a widely recognized textile standard around the globe. It represents high safety for fabrics, clothing, garments, accessories, and more.
The aim of the Bluesign system
The Bluesign system aims to inspire chemical suppliers, textile manufacturers, brands, and retailers to work today for a better tomorrow. It strives to find solutions for sustainable textile production.
Bluesign eliminates harmful substances at each step of the supply chain. It certifies that textile products are safe for the environment, workers, and customers.
The Bluesign certification applies to chemicals, processes, materials, and products. It helps manufacturers properly manage chemicals and replace harmful substances with safer alternatives.
Bluesign provides the highest level of consumer safety. It promotes environmentally and socially friendly products.
Bluesign offers a tool for companies to validate and communicate the use of harmless chemicals in sustainable textile production. It also gives practical solutions to make consumers feel safe.
The Bluesign standard tests the very beginning of the supply chain and offers brand protection, confidence in sourcing, and greater credibility.
Bluesign provides transparent, consistent, and comprehensive independent evaluation and verification of harmless chemical claims on products.
The Bluesign system unites many partners of the textile industry to realize an environmentally friendly, sustainable textile production worldwide.
What does it mean to be Bluesign certified?
When apparel companies and manufacturers become Bluesign system partners, they agree to improve performance by implementing management systems.
The Bluesign system ensures responsible use of resources, clean processes with controlled air and water emissions, safety for workers and consumers.
Compared to other textile standards that test for harmful substances such as Oeko-Tex, Bluesign involves all chemical suppliers and the whole textile supply chain in the testing process to avoid dangerous chemicals.
The Bluesign standard includes five principles:
- Resource productivity
- Consumer safety
- Occupational health and safety
- Air emission
- Water emission
Resource productivity aims to achieve the best performance with
optimized resource consumption, minimum air, and water emissions.
Consumer safety ensures that textile products are healthy, safe, and free of harmful substances.
Occupational health and safety guarantee the protection of workers against dangerous chemicals during textile manufacturing processes, including preparation, mixing, printing, dyeing, coating, and delivery.
Air emission is the Bluesign sustainability principle reducing carbon dioxide and toxic gas emissions.
Bluesign also controls water pollution and tests for harmful substances in wastewater. It verifies chemical safety according to the highest standards.
Clothes in brick-and-mortar stores and online product pages could show Bluesign labels with different meanings.
A textile product can either contain some materials (but not all) that meet the Bluesign criteria or fully meet the Bluesign standard by only using Bluesign certified components.
The Bluesign certification process
The Bluesign certification relies on independent third-party verification to confirm whether a product includes harmful substances.
Businesses often use Bluesign as a means to ensure that they are selling and buy safe products.
Organizations that wish to have a textile product certified by Bluesign must comply with the test criteria.
They must meet the requirements of the strictest and most advanced regulations worldwide concerning sustainable textile production to maintain a high level of product safety.
Companies must participate in a Bluesign company, chemical, or product assessment, which is an independent, systematic examination of data, processes, and performance concerning resources and the influence these have on people and the environment.
Here is how the Bluesign certification process looks like step-by-step:
- Fill out the company evaluation form.
- Provide contact details and information about the company.
- Sign the contract and non-disclosure agreement.
- Read the standard and prepare relevant documents.
- Meet the auditor after good preparation to reduce certification costs.
- Review documents and procedures against the Bluesign requirements.
- Wait for the audit report, test results, and subsequent recommendations.
- Become a Bluesign system partner.
- Implement the Bluesign recommendations.
- Start working with Bluefinder to use Bluesign approved ingredients.
- Encourage suppliers and partners to become a Bluesign system partner.
- After implementation, prepare for random tests and inspections.
- Receive respective certificates if testing is successful.
Bluesign approved certifiers
Since 2008, Bluesign Technologies is a member of the SGS Group, a leading inspection, verification, testing, and certification company.
The SGS network includes over 2,600 offices and laboratories, as well as more than 89,000 employees around the world.
The partnership with SGS simplifies the worldwide implementation of the Bluesign standard in the entire supply chain. It allows access to the extensive and global SGS network of specialists.
Each applicant needs to contact Bluesign Technologies to receive related inspection and certification services.
Bluesign Technologies AG
Phone: +41 71 272 29 90
More contacts at bluesign.com.
Bluesign Technologies AG
115 Meridian Drive, Kingsland
GA 31548, USA
Phone: +1 617 803 0521
SGS Central América S.A.
6a Calle 14-08 Zone 13
Ciudad de Guatemala
Phone: +502 2327 8900
SGS Bangladesh Limited
House 37, Road 24
Gulshan 1, Dhaka-1212
Bluesign Technologies AG
C/o SGS India Pvt. Ltd.
The Orion, 5th Floor
Opposite Don Bosco Youth Club
Arjun Mansukhani Path
Koregaon Park, Pune - 411001
Phone: +91 20 664 62664
Bluesign Technologies Limited
Room 1105, 11/F, Manhattan Centre
8 Kwai Cheong Road
Kwai Chung, N.T.
Phone: +852 2425 1600
C/o SGS-CSTC Standard Technical Services Co., Ltd.
Room 108, 1st Floor, 46th building, No. 555
Gui Ping Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai
Phone: +86 21 6107 2831
C/o SGS Japan Inc
Yokohama Business Park
East Tower 12F
134 Godo-cho Hodogaya-ku
Phone: +81 45 393 5112
C/o SGS Korea Co., Ltd.
#322, 92, LS-ro, Dongan-gu
Phone: +82 31 460 8015
C/o SGS Taiwan Ltd
134, Wu Kung Road, New Taipei
Industrial Park, Wu Ku Dist.,
New Taipei City
Phone: +886 2 2299 3279
C/o SGS Vietnam Inc.
Lot III/21, 19/5A Street
Industrial Group III, Tan Binh IZ
Tay Thanh, Tan Phu
Phone: +84 28 3931 2877
Bluesign certified clothing companies.
Bluesign is one of the best certifications to look for when shopping for healthy, safe, sustainable, and environmentally friendly clothing.
Unfortunately, only a few fashion brands and retailers sell clothes certified by Bluesign.
To help you make conscious purchasing decisions as an informed consumer, here are some of the best Bluesign certified clothing companies:
- Eileen Fisher, an American women's clothing brand, selling wardrobe essentials, from casual clothing to timeless and elegant pieces, from the famous fashion designer of the same name.
- Patagonia, an industry leader in ethical and sustainable active and outerwear.
- prAna, an outdoor brand that makes clothing for positive change, to inspire new generations to thrive and stay active.
- The North Face, a clothing company, making activewear and outdoor sports gear that exceeds your expectations.
- Outdoor Voices, an American technical apparel brand making activewear for Doing Things daily, dog walks, runs, and yoga included.
- Outerknown, a sustainable clothing brand, making fashionable apparel from organic and recycled materials.
- Dharma Bums, an Australian yoga and activewear brand that creates unique garments to empower both those who wear them and those that make them.
- Toad&Co, an American clothing company that creates sustainable, socially, and environmentally committed garments that are equally suited for the rigors of the trail or the tavern.
- Kathmandu, an Australasian retailer of apparel expertly designed for both travel and outdoor adventure so that you can pack less and do more.
- VAUDE, a German sustainable and innovative outdoor outfitter for mountain and bike sports.
- Blanche, a Copenhagen-based sustainable denim brand designing clothing as an ode to the modern female; female intelligence; female power; female passion.
- Eco Vegan Shoes, an animal-free footwear brand based in the Netherlands and making flats, boots, sandals, and shoes for women and men.
About the Author: Alex Assoune
Alex Assoune (MS) is a global health and environmental advocate. He founded Panaprium to inspire others with conscious living, ethical, and sustainable fashion. Alex has worked in many countries to address social and environmental issues. He speaks three languages and holds two Master of Science degrees in Engineering from SIGMA and IFPEN schools.