accrediting ‘good’ brands
Preloved clothing from accredited ethical & sustainable brands (our ‘good’ brands) can be bought and sold on our muka kids shop (in time we will offer discounts on new items from our ‘good’ brands).
To be accredited a clothing brand needs to earn a certain number of ‘muka buttons’ – each button is for a specific ethical & sustainable practice*. A brand that is awarded buttons for being ‘Fully Ethical’ AND ‘Fully Organic’ earns muka accreditation for just those two buttons, a brand that is EITHER ‘Fully Ethical’ OR ‘Fully Organic’ needs ONE other button (nos 3-13) to be accredited, and other brands need to be awarded THREE of the other buttons (nos 3-13) to be accredited.
The 13 ‘muka buttons’ for ethical & environmental practice
- Fully Ethical : Certified ethical practice through the entire garment production chain (e.g. fairtrade certified cotton, World Fair-trade certified garments)
- Fully Organic/Sustainable Materials: Certified organic & sustainable materials for the entire garment production chain (e.g. GOTS certified organic cotton)
- Growing Sustainable: Certified organic/sustainable materials used for more than half of the garments produced by the label.
- Growing Ethical: Certified ethical practices for particular aspects (but not all) of the production chain, such as garment construction (eg, SA8000 accreditation, Child Labour free)
- Living Wage: Paying a ‘living wage’ above the legal minimum wage of the country.
- Social Enterprise: Transparent social enterprise, with ethics or sustainability at the core of the entire business model; the brand will usually have a development/skills/employment/environmental project aspect that profits are driven back into.
- Locally Ethical: Garments constructed in an OECD or EU country by an owner operator OR garments constructed in an OECD or EU country with minimum labour standards including minimum wage and conditions for employees evidenced as being met.
- Transparent Production Chain: Totally transparent approach to production chain with all suppliers’ names and locations and conditions identified and freely available to view publically.
- Waste Reduction: Waste minimisation through garment design and construction, recycling/repurposing of waste fabric, minimal and sustainable packaging (eg FSC certified labels, carbon neutral couriering etc).
- Clean & Clever: Closed looped cleaning and processing of ALL raw materials, voluntary environmental clean-up exceeding the country of operations’ standards, carbon neutral certification, other clever approaches to environmental stewardship that show a commitment to sustainability.
- Girl Power: Women and girls development projects as part of the production chain, or active work by the business to achieve women’s equality and development above and beyond the legal requirements of the country of origin.
- Gender Neutral: Kids clothes (up to 8 years) are not designed separately for boys and girls and avoid stereotyped imagery for girls and boys (ie science and dinosaurs for boys and kittens for girls)
- Ethical Animals: Vegan materials, cruelty free animal products (certified).
*Currently brands are pre-accredited by us after lots of research, but we will move to an application process where brands need to provide us with clear evidence of their practices to be awarded specific muka buttons and be accredited as ‘good’.
If you want to know what exactly the various buttons mean have a read of the following blog posts
- For a lovely easy pictorial overview of the entire journey of ethical & organic cotton clothing read ‘How ethical clothing is made’
- For a better understanding of fairtrade cotton read ‘What does certified Fairtrade cotton mean’
- To get a grip on what organic cotton is read ‘Organic cotton kids clothes – what exactly are they?’
- We have a list of the kids clothes that meet many of the ethical and sustainability criteria ‘ethical clothes for kids we love’. Along with a list of women’s and men’s clothing that meets our standards too.
If you are a brand and you are interested in accreditation and partnering with us, please do get in touch on our contacts page.