ECO ALPHABET DIRECTORY CRITERIA
ECO ALPHABET is MOCHNI´s new eco brand directory which helps consumers, media and buyers to quickly find eco brands (clothing, accessories, bags, jewelry, shoes, home textiles) according to their needs and ethical values by using the search, filter and explore functions.
ECO ALPHABET differs from other brand directories in that we only include brands that comply with our strict ethical criteria and the brands must publicly and transparently declare this compliance. In this way, we help sustainable brands to better explain and present their ethical and sustainable work, and users of the directory can better understand the actions of the brand. This transparency and accountability help avoid greenwashing and help customers make truly responsible purchasing decisions based on their ethical preferences.
As long as the brand is listed on ECO ALPHABET, the brand can use our ECO ALPHABET “transparency approved” stamp on its website. Using the stamp helps customers build trust in the brand.
We believe in accountability. We are here to support smaller brands and intentionally hold bigger brands more accountable to potentially make a positive impact on the fashion industry.
Thanks to the pioneering work of many small companies that for years have been dedicated to the development and production of ecological textiles and products, the choice is wide. And we are pleased to present this selection on ECO ALPHABET.
The Fair Trade and Social Justice criteria must be met by every brand.
ALL MAIN MATERIALS of at least 95% of the total product collection must be made of Organic material and/or Recycled material and/or Upcycled material and/or Eco material.
Main material is the essential part of the final product including fillings and insulation, for shoes: upper, lining and sole. Small accessories or by-products (e.g. buttons, zippers, sewing thread, plating, laces, buttons and packaging) do not need to meet the criteria, but should be sustainable and must not be prohibited material. If a main material in the collection does not fall under one of these criteria, the brand cannot be registered, as this is a minimum requirement.
All other criteria: Local, Zero Waste, Handcrafted, Vegan, Give Back, BIPOC-Led, Woman-Led, Cultural Support are optional.
We have developed an application form with conditional logic based on our ethical criteria. Our ethical requirements are clearly stated in each step of the application form. This helps to require appropriate information from the brand. Using our digital questionnaire, each brand indicates which ethical criterion is met and explains this with a statement. We transfer this information 1:1 into the respective brand profile. Brands are responsible for providing their information truthfully and must at all times comply with our ethical criteria and ensure that material and content do not fall under the prohibited list. We will switch brand profiles that no longer meet our ethical criteria to invisible.
You can report fraud, competition or trademark infringements immediately to firstname.lastname@example.org so that they can be dealt with.
Brands can update their profile at any time by clicking on information update in the form and updating only the necessary information. The audience sees a date on the brand profile that shows when the information was last updated. Brands are responsible for keeping their information up to date in accordance with our ethical criteria.
The brand submission is only allowed to legal persons, partnerships and persons with unlimited legal capacity based in the EU (with valid EU VAT ID), USA, Canada, Australia, UK, Switzerland or China and who must be the Managing Director / CEO.
The entire collection must comply with the Fair Trade criterion. The Fair Trade criterion focuses on the production process (including the CUT-MAKE-TRIM stage), which is the most labour-intensive part of the production process. All products in the collection must be developed under the brand’s own monitoring and/or the brand must have a direct contract with the producer/ manufacturer. Fair trade means that 100% of the collection must be produced under good working conditions, regardless of whether the production process takes place in a developed region or developing region. Production that takes place in a least developed region is not allowed under any circumstances. Good working conditions comply with the internationally recognized Standards of the ILO International Labour Organisation through the United Nations:
1. Employment is freely chosen (ILO Conventions No. 29 and 105)
2. No discrimination (ILO Conventions No. 100 and 111)
3. No child labor (ILO Conventions No. 138 and 182)
4. Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining (ILO Conventions No. 87, 98, 135 and 154)
5. Payment of Living Wage (ILO Conventions No. 95 and 131)
6. Reasonable Hours of Work (ILO Conventions No. 1, 14, 30, 106)
7. Safe and Healthy working conditions (ILO Conventions No. 155)
8. Legally Binding employment relationship (ILO Conventions No. 158, 175, 177, 181)
The brand must comply with the Social Justice criterion. The brand guarantees Social Justice and equal opportunities in their internal and external corporate environment and attaches positive value to the differences between the people they work with.
ALL MAIN MATERIALS of at least 95% of the total product collection must be made of Organic material and/or Recycled material and/or Upcycled material and/or Eco material. Main material is the essential part of the final product including fillings and insulation, for shoes: upper, lining and sole. Small accessories or by-products (e.g. buttons, zippers, sewing thread, plating, laces, buttons and packaging) do not need to meet the criteria, but should be sustainable and must not be prohibited material.
Organic material is produced from a natural resource such as plant or animal fibers grown or bred in accordance with organic farming standards. The renewable organic source must be free from herbicides, pesticides, insecticides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Organic material originating from forestry must not contribute directly or indirectly to deforestation or forest degradation. All animal fibers must be free from cruelty. Freedom from cruelty means that no animals are killed or harmed and that all animals are treated with respect by promoting health and welfare.
Organic material must contain a minimum of 95% organic material and a maximum of 5% (virgin) synthetic fibers, but 25% (virgin) synthetic fibers each are allowed for socks, leggings, denim and sportswear.
1. Example: 100% organic cotton (GOTS certified)
2. Example: 50% hemp, 50% linen
3. Example: 95% organic cotton (GOTS certified), 5% lycra
4. Example: 75% organic wool (GOTS certified), 23% polyamide, 2% elastane (for socks)
Recycled material is material that has been recovered or removed from the waste stream during the manufacturing process or before or after use by the consumer and then transformed into new material or yarn. The material must be recycled without harming nature and without using harmful chemicals or inherently problematic substances that are classified by REACH as hazardous to human health and the environment.
Recycled material must contain at least 70% fibers derived from recycled resources and may contain a maximum of 10% (virgin) synthetic fibers, but 25% (virgin) synthetic fibers for socks, leggings and sportswear.
1. Example: 70% recycled polyester (GRS certified), 25% cotton, 5% Lycra
2. Example: 95% ECONYL®, 5% elastane
3. Example: 100% regenerated wool
All upcycled materials used in the collection must have already existed and have been reused. Upcycled material has not been produced or recycled, but has been transformed into a new product. These materials come from pre-consumer waste for example excess material such as offcuts: fabric remnants left over from cutting out patterns, deadstock material or similar. Or post-consumer waste for example vintage garments, second-hand clothing or similar.
1. Example: Deadstock fabric 100% silk
2. Example: Cut-off fabric 95% organic cotton (GOTS certified), 5% lycra
Eco/Tech material must have less negative effects on the environment than conventional material and is compostable, naturally biodegradable and/or recyclable (closed loop / circular). However, the process for converting the raw material into an eco material should be practiced with a low carbon footprint, sustainable water and energy savings and without the use of harmful chemicals as required by REACH. In most cases, eco material is an innovative tech material developed by science. Here are the options of what it can be:
a) Natural material produced with a traditional process that supports a community and culture.
b) Cellulose-based man-made fibre obtained from the bark, wood or leaves of plants and originating from sustainably managed forests.
Example: TENCEL® (Lyocell by Lenzing)
c) Biosynthetic fiber that consists of polymers made from renewable resources, either wholly or partly.
Example: MICROSILK™ (BOLD THREADS)
d) Bio-tech material
Example: Modern Meadow Lab-Grown Leather
e) A fiber blend based on the listed ORGANIC, UPCYCLED, RECYCLED, ECO materials with a maximum of 10% (virgin) synthetic fibers, but 25% (virgin) synthetic fibers each for socks, leggings and sportswear.
Example: 30% Organic Cotton (GOTS certified), 30% Recycled Polyester, 30% ECONYL®, 10% Lycra
f) An alternative material to replace conventional material for products for which industry has so far developed little environmental or ethical solutions.
1. Example: Cellulose Acetate instead of plastic for frames.
2. Example: Lab-Created Diamonds
At least 50% of the product collection must be produced in the same state where the brand’s head office is located. Production focuses on the CUT-MAKE-TRIM stage, which is the most labour-intensive part of the production process.
Zero Waste refers to strategically sustainable processes with the aim of producing as little waste as possible and reducing CO2, plastics, chemicals and water consumption. The processes can be applied to the entire supply chain. This includes the business model, the design model, production and logistics and customer service.
1. Example: Zero waste pattern design (e.g. Kimono)
2. Example: Zero waste production (e.g. whole garment knitting) or reuse of cut-off.
3. Example: Made-to-order
4. Example: Repair service
5. Example: Take-back-scheme
100% of the entire product collection must be handcrafted. Handcrafted products are those that are made by artisans entirely by hand or with the help of hand tools such as needle and thread, loom or other traditional hand tools but without the use of any electric machines.
1. Example: Hand-woven garment (e.g. tweed or bouclé often seen in Haute Couture collections)
2. Example: Hand-woven basket (the basket may be lined, as the hand-woven part is the most essential part of the product
3. Example: Hand-knitted garment
4. Example: Handcrafted Jewelry
The brand must donate at least 1% of its profits generated by the sale of the collection or part of the collection to a recognized non-profit organization to support a humanitarian aid, social or environmental project. This can be the promotion and support of women’s, children’s or animal rights, building schools, educational projects, health care, access to safe and clean water, enabling vaccines or a similar project.
1. Example: Black Lives Matter
2. Example: Save The Children
3. Example: Greenpeace
4. Example: Sumatran Orangutan Conversation Programme (SOCP)
Minimum 50% Black, Indigenous Or Person Of Color must be in leadership role.
Minimum 50% women must be in leadership role.
The brand supports local traditions and communities, democratic politics and education especially in the countries where the brand operates.
List of prohibited materials and content
Real Exotic Skin
Down and/or Feathers from life plucked birds
Rabbit Hair (Angora i.a.)
Horn, Ivory, Coral, Turtle Armature, Tortoiseshell, Nacre
Prohibited chemical inputs:
(These chemical inputs must not be used in all processing stages regardless if applied as a pure substance or as part of a preparation)
Aromatic and Halogenated Solvents (used to create plastics like Polyester, Nylon, PET, PVC or paints/coatings i.a.)
Brominated and Chlorinated Flame Retardants (used as a textile application to reduce flammability i.a.)
Chlorinated Benzenes (used to dissolve other substances during manufacturing and to clean fabrics i.a.)
Dioxin and/or Dioxin-producing Bleach
Chlorophenols including their Salts and Esters (used for dyeing i.a.)
Complexing Agents and Surfactants (used as surface wetting for textile finishing processes to accelerate the penetration of finishing liquors i.a.)
Cyanide (used for mining gold and/or silver i.a.)
Formaldehyde and other short-chain Aldehydes (used to prevent shrinkage i.a.)
Fungicides and Biocides (used for the protection of textiles, nonwovens, and other materials to avoid mold growth)
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) (Genetically modified organisms (GMO) are plants, animals, and microorganisms which have been altered genetically)
Heavy Metals: Cadmium, Carbon, Lead, Mercury, Nickel, Copper and Chromium (used in certain dyes products and pigments used for textiles and/or accessories. Uses of chromium include certain textile processes, leather tanning, and metal recovery i.a.)
Inputs like Azo Dyes and inorganic Pigments (used for dyeing i.a.)
Inputs containing functional Nanoparticles (used to improve different functionalities of the textiles like water-repellence, dirt-repellence, self-cleaning, UV absorption, i.a.)
Organotin Compounds (used in sportswear, socks, and shoes to prevent odor caused by the breakdown of sweat i.a.)
Paraffins (substances and preparations that are prohibited for application in textiles with a recognized internationally or a nationally valid legal character i.a.)
Per- and Polyfluorinated Compounds (PFC) (used for leather and textile products to make them water- and stainproof i.a.)
Plasticizers (used as a softener for flexibility and durability i.a.)
Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (used as textile softener i.a.)
Short-chain Chlorinated (used as flame retardants and finishing agents for leather and textiles i.a.).
Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH – also known as caustic soda or lye) and Carbon disulfide, hydrolysis alkalization combined with multi-phase bleaching (used to produce rayon made from cellulose fibers. The source of cellulose can be wood, paper, cotton fiber or bamboo i.a.)
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Industrial sandblasting, stonewashing
No nude photos, pornographic, unnaturally retouched pictures, racist, intolerant, hateful gestures or symbols. No photos that contain text, logos, emoji, stickers, filters, theme frames, watermarks or censor blocks placed over the photos.