Expedited fashion cycles in the clothing and home textiles industry create an urgent need to produce high-quality products compliant with prescribed standards quickly. As textiles companies are expanding into new global markets, and most other countries are also developing their clothing regulations and standards, they face an increasingly complex regulatory environment that challenges them. Most developing countries are also developing their clothing regulations and standards. Hence, if you are passionate about creating your apparel brand and manufacture garments, you must acquire a standards certification. There are many accredited independent bodies (auditors) operating in the market. A certificate issued from any of the prevailing auditors will ensure that your company is verified, and you are in compliance with the industry standards. The first step in acquiring a standards certificate is passing the standards test:

1.Testing: Some of the leading testing standards for textiles are: International organization for Standardization (ISO), the American Association of Textile Chemists and dyes (AATCC), National Institute Standards and Technology (NIST). Here are the mandatory tests required for every apparel manufacturing company to receive certification:

(i) Fabric mandatory tests: fiber ingredient of labels and wash care labels, down / feather detection, fire performance testing, restricted substances testing.

(ii) Fabric performance tests: dimensional stability, colorfastness, physical performance.

(iii) Textile Chemical tests: restricted substances list

(iv )Accessories safety performance tests: small parts testing, buttons, zipper performance testing.

“The American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) develops the test methods the textile industry uses to ensure product quality.”

2.Certification: Here are the five most important certifications for the apparel industry:

(i) ISO 9001 (2015): It is one of the most commonly used quality control programs developed by the world’s largest standards organization, the International Organization for Standardization. To receive this certification, a manufacturer must demonstrate its ability to produce products that meet customer and regulatory requirements consistently.

(ii) Standard 100 (OEKO-TEX): OEKO-TEX® checks for hazardous contaminants depending on the purpose of textiles and fabrics. The more intense the product’s skin contact and the more sensitive the skin, the stricter the human-ecological requirements that the product must meet. STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® is a globally reliable, autonomous testing and certification system for raw, semi-finished, and finished textile products at all production levels.

(iii) Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS): GOTS is considered the most prevalent manufacturing standard for testing and inspecting organic products, and it primarily certifies organic cotton. The manufactured product must be at least 70% organic fabric to apply for this certification. The product also has to meet stringent environmental and toxicological criteria.

(iv) Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production (WRAP): It promotes healthy, compliant, humane, and socially responsible manufacturing around the world through certification and education. If you want to ensure that your workers are working in safe conditions, you should look for WRAP certification.

(v) BlueSign: Focuses on legal enforcement in the area of public protection and safety. It combines facets of the general welfare, water and air pollution, and workplace health, emphasizing reducing hazardous chemicals at the early stages of development.

Hope this blog acquainted you with the entire testing and certification process. May it take you one step closer to realizing your dream of starting your very own garment manufacturing company.

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