Unfortunately, we cannot yet offer any certifications. In this short article, we'd like to tell you why.
Our fabric supplier HempFortex is a member of the FairWearFoundation, our garment producer Humana Nova is SA-8000 certified. With regard to the actual working conditions, we probably could successfully apply for a FairWear memgership and put their logo on our shirts. However, the FairWearFoundation admits labels only if they have an annual turnover of at least €2.5 million. That's why we're out for now.
HempFortex, like its partner companies that do fibre processing, spinning and dying, is certified according to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and generally can offer products with the GOTS label. However, when it comes to hemp, there's one missing link in the chain: hemp. Unfortunately, there are almost no GOTS certified hemp textiles yet, inter alia because this niche fibre did not play a role when the standard was set up. One problem is that many farmers shy away from the costs and effort to have their hemp certified - especially since this is a plant that by nature needs no pesticides or other harmful chemicals to grow. There are actors that conduct lobbying to adapt GOTS certification to hemp, but without much success until now. So it will still take some time before GOTS certified hemp textiles are available.
This means that from raw material to fabric, the production process is conducted according to GOTS standards, while the lack of certification of the raw material prevents a labelling of the end product, even though hemp by nature is a lot more environmentally friendly. On the upside, this made it easier for us to have the shirts tailored not at HempFortex, but at Humana Nova in Croatia (which actually means we are tearing another gap into the certification chain). Still, we support GOTS as a high ecological and social standard and have decided to have the printing done as GOTS screen printing, even if we cannot put this information anywhere on the product. We will keep working on being able to offer GOTS-certified hemp shirts in the future.
The cotton fraction in the fabric is certified according to the Organic Content Standard blended, by which we have a guarantee that it is certified organic cotton. Since here there is a certification chain, too, which must not be interrupted, we cannot put the OCS blended label on our shirts as they are tailored at Humana Nova. We will, however, see that we make the certification of the fabric transparent another way.
Currently we are thinking about having our shirts tested and subsequently certified by ÖkoTex. Since this costs a few thousand Euros, however, we cannot afford this before the crowdfunding campaign.
We hope that, despite the lack of labels and certificates, we can convince you that we do everything to guarantee a clean and fair production of our shirts. After all, this is what this company has been started for.