- Apparel Industry
- 3rd Party Certification
- Environmental Certifications
- Social Responsibility (SR) Certifications
ABOUT L.E.A.F. (Labeling Ecologically Approved Fabrics)
“The greatest thing about the dilemma we are in is that we get to reimagine every single thing we do ” – Paul Hawken
Why We are Here
There is currently a lack of trustworthy information for US consumers should they want to purchase clothing or fabrics produced in more ethical and sustainable ways. Additionally, many producers in the textile supply chain have made impressive efforts to improve their practices, but have not found a reliable way to convey these improvements to the US consumer.
Third-party certification provides a trustworthy method to communicate these improvements to the end user by providing comprehensive environmental/social responsibility (SR) benchmarks for industry practices, while also providing independent verification for environmental and social claims.
Yet due to the complexity of this industry’s life cycle, it is difficult for any one standard or certification to cover the full range of inputs, processes and social issues addressed by the apparel industry’s complex and expansive life cycle.
The purpose of LEAF is to create a comprehensive eco-labeling system that–over time–addresses a majority of the T.I.E.S. (Total Impact on Environment and Society) for a particular apparel or fabric product. Since it can be difficult for any given product to meet every environmental and social benchmark throughout this industry’s complex supply chain, this program also aims to communicate where a product has made specific environmental and social achievements.
This program also seeks to troubleshoot the issue of the US consumer becoming confused by too many labeling programs that cover parts of the life cycle, and to serve as a unifying and comprehensive eco-labeling message for the US marketplace.
What We Do
LEAF will serve end users, the apparel/fabrics industries and standards organizations in the following ways:
- Collaborate with recognized standards-setting and third-party certification programs of the apparel industry to form a unifying labeling program that is trusted and recognized by the US consumer and marketplace.
- Provide information on each garment that communicates where a product has made specific third-party certification achievements.
- Deliver a platform upon which both the industry and consumers can learn about the extensive problems — as well as the exciting solutions — happening throughout the apparel industry’s chain of custody.
The L.E.A.F. Labeling System
At the start of the program, three major ‘Achievement Categories’ will be presented to the consumer marketplace on a third-party certified apparel product:
- Organic/sustainable source fibers
- Environmentally superior manufacturing processes
- Fair Labor practices in manufacturing facilities
Once the proper certification procedures have been established, additional ‘Achievement Categories’ will be added as benchmarks to this labeling program. Proposed categories include:
- Fair Trade (for small-scaled sustenance farmers)
- Packaging and Distribution Criteria
- Humane Animal Treatement Criteria
Please note: The official layout of the hangtag, that will communicate this achievement information, will be finalized during the beta trials.
Public Standing Practices
To ensure this program adheres to impeccable standards, the following practices will be strictly adhered to:
- Consistent and Clear: The LEAF symbol when used on one product will have the same overall meanings when used on other products. The label will have consistent meanings among different products.
- Transparency: information about organizational structure, funding, Board of Directors, and certification standards will be available to the public.
- Independent and Protection from Conflict of Interest: This organization will not receive funding from the sale of certified products or contributions from logo users beyond labeling fees. Employees of companies whose products are certified, or applying for certification will not be on the Board of Directors. L.E.A.F. will have explicit conflict of interest policies prohibiting such affiliations.
- Opportunities for Public Comment: New label developments will occur with input from multiple stakeholders including Standards Groups, Consumers, Industry, and Social Representatives in a way that doesn’t compromise the independence of the organization. For example, industry representatives may play an important advisory role as long as there is no direct financial, decision-making or management ties to the project.*
These practices have been adapted from the: Global Eco-Labeling Network
Who We Are
Thank you for checking back soon for the finalized list of LEAF’s Advisory Boards, and Management Team.
This program’s 501(c)3 sponsor is the International Humanities Center (IHC),a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to working with other independent nonprofit organizations and sponsored projects devoted to a vision of ecological and humanitarian stewardship. The IHC seeks to reverse the current situation of pollution, disease, and disconnection by focusing efforts on creating a civilization that is centered upon natural harmony.