Sustainability Rating FAQ
The Panaprium sustainability rating system helps you make conscious choices as an informed ethical fashion lover. It takes into consideration all aspects of sustainability that matter for the fashion world, economic, societal, and environmental.
We hope for a better textile and apparel industry in the future, a fashion world that moves away from mindless consumerism, protects the environment, where all humans and animals are cared for.
The fashion industry, including organizations and businesses, brands and retailers, suppliers, partners, and manufacturers, should take massive action to reduce pollution, waste, and greenhouse gas emissions.
They should rely on renewable materials to create beautiful and functional fashion items while avoiding overproduction to preserve natural resources and limit waste.
Everyone has a role to play and is responsible for making conscious choices to protect people and nature. As individuals, we can use our talents and skills in service of a greater good.
We can educate ourselves and promote environmental stewardship. We can hold fashion designers, brands, and retailers to the highest standards of quality, sustainability, transparency, and accountability.
The Panaprium sustainability rating system is continuously improving in content and methodology to take into consideration the latest sustainability data sources available in the industry and adapt to its ever-evolving issues.
We rate apparel, footwear, accessory, and jewelry brands based on the following guiding principles.
Natural & Organic
We want products that are better for people and the planet. That is why natural and organic materials are a priority. Bio-based textiles made from resources produced organically have lower impacts. They are safer for the human body and the environment.
Organic materials don't contribute to microfiber pollution. They also reduce water and energy consumption, carbon emissions, waste, and use no harmful man-made chemicals.
They are less likely to contribute to acidification, eutrophication, and global warming. They help with soil fertility and biodiversity.
Upcycling and recycling are very environmentally friendly practices. They create valuable items out of old textiles, extends the lifespan of used clothes, and convert waste into new materials. They are more conscious alternatives to conventional waste disposal.
Fashion businesses or organizations need to use a large proportion of recycled or upcycled materials, as well as provide a comprehensive textile recycling program.
One of the best ways to make fashion more sustainable is to produce and consume fewer clothes and of higher quality. Buying and selling high-quality garments result in lower social and environmental impacts.
High-quality clothing also tends to last longer. Well-made pieces are more durable and serve consumers as well as the planet better.
Ethical & Fair
If you cannot find information about manufacturing practices, policies, and supply chains, it's a good sign to buy from someone else. Fashion brands and retailers need to be transparent about their production facilities if they want to keep the trust of their customers and partners.
It's hard to believe but many fashion companies are still using sweatshop-like conditions to produce their clothes. Child labor and modern slavery cases are still being reported. Human rights violations should be abolished.
Farmers and garment factory workers all around the world deserve a decent living wage, reasonable work hours, safe workplaces, access to healthcare, paid leaves, and the right to unionize without any abuse.
Fashion brands need to do their best to empower the workers in their supply chains, encourage them to improve their skills, and regularly conduct audits to ensure all employees are fairly treated.
Using animals for fashion today is cruel and unnecessary. No animal should have to suffer to make beautiful and functional clothes. Animal cruelty has no place in modern society.
The global textile and apparel industry kills billions of animals every year for fashion. Their pelts and skins are used to make products such as fur, wool, leather, down, and silk.
The fashion industry has a disastrous impact on animals and ecosystems. It's time to avoid the use of animal products and by-products for fashion. So many cruelty-free alternatives already exist.
Ethical can also mean fashionable. Make the responsible choice of selecting high-quality products made from cruelty-free and sustainable materials.
What we choose to wear has a huge impact. Our values and lifestyles matter on a global scale. Our clothing choices not only enrich our lives but also shape the future we leave for our children.
Score of 1-2/10
Brands rated 1-2/10 don't do enough to reduce their impacts or provide little to no evidence of such actions. They don't demonstrate enough care for people, animals, and the planet.
Score of 3-4/10
Brands rated 3-4/10 are aware of the fashion industry's negative impacts and are starting to implement sustainability practices. They provide some relevant information but not enough to be considered sustainable.
Score of 5-7/10
Brands rated 5-7/10 are somewhat on the right track to make fashion sustainable. They are more transparent and responsible than most apparel brands and take massive action to reduce their impacts.
Score of 8-10/10
Brands rated 8-10/10 are some of the most sustainable and ethical brands in the world. They demonstrate deep care for all living beings and the environment, as well as the highest levels of quality, transparency, accountability, and sustainability.
Here is how the rating process looks like step-by-step:
- New brand rating entry. Priority is given to directory listing requests from brands, brands likely to rate very high, brands with a large influence, brands that are radically different.
- Brand first evaluation based on lifetime, market share, region, and practices.
- Collection of assessment data from trusted third-party sources.
- Collection of publicly available data from the brand and its parent companies.
- Data review by analysts, journalists, and industry experts.
- Brand rating following the Panaprium criteria.
- Brand second evaluation based on sustainability facts, best practices, and improvement goals.
- Redaction of the brand directory listing before publication.
- Comparison with other brands with similar scope.
- Brand rating approval by Panaprium editors.
- Publication of the new listing in the sustainable brand directory.
- Periodic brand promotion on Panaprium social media profiles.
- Annual review of each brand sustainability rating against publicly available changes.
The Panaprium sustainability rating system sources data from the highest environmental, economic, and social certification standards in the world.
It also includes information provided by brands and their parent companies, as well as independent assessments from third-party organizations.
To provide you with reliable information about a brand sustainability performance, we build on the work of independent rating systems, certifications, accreditations, and other global standards.
Certification standards are important to guarantee that clothing pieces have been produced with sustainable processes under environmentally friendly and socially responsible conditions.
Certifications and quality marks guarantee consumers that textile products have been manufactured with the least possible impact on people, the environment, the animals, and with responsible use of resources.
Some of the best internationally recognized sustainability assessments come from independent organizations such as GOTS, WFTO, C2C, Oeko-Tex, BSCI, and more.
We take into account thousands of data points from over 100 reliable sources to verify apparel brands' compliance with the highest sustainability standards.
Unfortunately, not enough fashion brands have been independently assessed and can reliably show relevant certifications. In this case, we need to look further and deep into each label's sustainability practice.
Whenever an issue isn't covered by an international standard, we test each brand's statement for reliability and truthfulness. We ignore any irrelevant, private, or misleading claims.
The Panaprium sustainability rating system doesn't consider information absent from the public domain. All sustainability data sources should be available to the public before they can appear in a brand rating.
Panaprium reviews each independent rating system, certification, accreditation, and other standards before considering it as a reliable data source.
Some of the standards, programs, initiatives, organizations, and guidelines we reference in the Panaprium sustainability rating system include:
- Amfori Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI)
- Blue Angel (German ecolabel)
- EU Ecolabel
- Fairtrade International
- Fairtrade Textile Standard
- World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO)
- Fair Wear Foundation Code of Labour Practices (FWF)
- Clean Clothes Campaign Labour Codes of Conduct (CCC)
- Cradle to Cradle Basic, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum (C2C)
- Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP)
- Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code (ETI)
- SA8000 Standard (social certification program)
- International Labour Organization (ILO)
- Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA)
- Better Cotton Initiative (BCI)
- Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)
- Organic Content Standard (OCS)
- Cotton made in Africa (CmiA)
- REEL Cotton
- Cleaner Cotton
- OE-100 and OE-Blended (Ecolabel Index)
- Nordic Swan (Nordic Ecolabel)
- NATURTEXTIL IVN certified BEST (German quality standard)
- Grüner Knopf (German textile label)
- Naturland Standards (German standards for textiles)
- Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007
- Council Regulation (EC) No 889/2008
- Council Regulation (EC) No 1235/2008
- Parliament Regulation (EU) 2018/848
- USDA National Organic Program (NOP)
- National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP)
- Canadian Organic Regime (COR)
- Uzbek Cotton Pledge
- Turkmen Cotton Pledge Against Forced Labor
- Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC)
- COSMetic Organic and Natural Standard (COSMOS)
- Oeko-Tex Made In Green
- Oeko-Tex Standard 100
- Oeko-Tex Leather Standard
- Oeko-Tex STeP
- Oeko-Tex Detox To Zero
- Oeko-Tex Eco Passport
- Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
- Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)
- DHL GoGreen (Environmental protection program)
- Content Claim Standard (CCS)
- Recycled Claim Standard (RCS)
- Global Recycled Standard (GRS)
- Responsible Wool Standard (RWS)
- Responsible Mohair Standard (RMS)
- Responsible Down Standard (RDS)
- ZQ Merino (Ethical Wool)
- Leather Working Group (LWG)
- National Wool Declaration (NWD)
- Global Traceable Down Standard (Global TDS)
- PETA Approved Vegan
- Responsible Jewelry Council (RJC)
- Carbon Trust Standard
- Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards (CCB Standards)
- International Bureau for the Standardisation of Man-Made Fibres (BISFA)
- International Wool Textile Organization (IWTO)
- Global Living Wage Coalition (GLWC)
- Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB)
- Global Social Compliance Programme (GSCP)
- Act On Living Wages (ACT)
- Workplace Conditions Assessment (WCA)
- Global Fashion Agenda (GFA)
- Ellen MacArthur Foundation
- Fashion Transparency Index
- Fashion Revolution
- Fashion For Good
- Centre for Sustainable Fashion (CSF)
- Slow Factory Foundation
- Fair Labour Association (FLA)
- Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC)
- Textile Exchange
- Soil Association
- Greenpeace DETOX Campaign
- Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA)
- CDP Worldwide (Carbon Disclosure Project)
- The G7 Fashion Pact
- UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion (UNASF)
- UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action (UNFCCC)
- Sustainable Development Goals or Global Goals
- ISO 9001
- ISO 14001
- ISO 50001
- ISO 45001
- ISO 19000
- Any other standard approved in the IFOAM Family of Standards
Should you have further questions about the Panaprium sustainability rating system, please visit our contact page.
If you are a sustainable and ethical brand offering apparel, footwear, accessory, or jewelry for women, men, kids, or babies, feel free to contact us for more information on how you can get rated by Panaprium.