Certifications your Supplier Must Have

Being a buyer in a retail firm or an agency, one of your key responsibilities is to find the right supplier, with the right collection of products, at the right time, at the right price. With globalization, hindrances due to geographical boundaries are practically moot. Today, most buyers and agencies depend on suppliers located all over the world for various reasons, better quality, better variety and more competitive prices being some.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, before responding to the list of proposals and browsing through collections from suppliers to see if they check off your requirements, find out if they fulfill a much more fundamental criteria – Certifications.  A supplier having all the necessary certifications will erase unnecessary complications right from the beginning.

Have your Suppliers/Manufacturers products been tested for harmful substances?

You need the final product, be it a cushion, an apron, a table runner or a placemat, to first and foremost be skin friendly. These are home textiles used on a daily basis, you cannot risk the fabric being harmful to the skin.

The most common certification for a textile manufacturer for this purpose comes from OEKO-TEX Association. They are a renowned independent body that prides itself on years of testing textiles to ensure no harmful substances and health risks are involved with fabrics used for textiles.

Their motto ‘Confidence in Textiles’ is popularized in their logo. Next time you consider a supplier don’t forget to look for the OEKO.TEX Standard 100 mark.

Does your Supplier/Manufacturer have a Certified Quality Management System in place?

A supplier who has certified quality management will tell you that all the aspects of their business, facilities, equipment, services, people, have undergone a quality check by an authorized auditor; they meet regulatory requirements and are implementing systems effectively.

Since it is rare for buyers and agents to visit actual manufacturing facilities, it is difficult to judge quality and standard of equipment, processes, of a potential supplier.

ISO 9001 is one of the standards within the range of ISO 9000 standards, which is most common to large, medium and small sized organizations for quality management certification.


Is your Supplier Environmentally and Socially Responsible?

It is important to know whether the supplier you are considering is being environmentally and socially responsible. It boils down to an assessment of processing of the textile (how much of it is organic?), storage, inspection of chemicals being used (dyes and auxiliaries), waste management at the facility and more.

GOTS – Global Organic Textile Standard is one the world’s leading processing standard for textiles made from organic fibers. Its criteria include environmental and social standards through the organic textiles supply chain.



Is your Supplier adhering to Labour Laws?

You might only see the final product, a beautiful cushion cover, a pretty apron or a stylish table mat, but what is happening behind the scenes, could you ever know? Is the work force over a certain age? Are the working conditions for the laborers good enough?

The Foreign Trade Association in 2003 launched an initiative to harmonize social compliance and create consistency in labour standards across the globe established by the International Labour Organization.

BSCI – Business Social Compliance Initiative allows companies producing labour intensive goods the opportunity to be associated and certified by them resulting in companies having to adhere to a Code of Conduct surrounding their work force.

Browse through our certifications here: