Glossary: USDA National Organic Program USDA-NOP

What is organic?

Organic is a labeling term that indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods that integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used. Consumer Information.

Our Mission

Ensuring the integrity of USDA organic products in the U.S. and throughout the world. About Us + Reports | USDA Organic Seal



Glossary: UL

UL is a global independent safety science company with more than a century of expertise innovating safety solutions from the public adoption of electricity to new breakthroughs in sustainability, renewable energy and nanotechnology. Dedicated to promoting safe living and working environments, UL helps safeguard people, products and places in important ways, facilitating trade and providing peace of mind.

UL’s global network provides performance and durability testing, chemical and emission testing, flammability and GREENGUARD Certification for furniture and bedding products.  We provide the knowledge and expertise to help navigate growing complexities across the supply chain from compliance and regulatory issues to trade challenges, such as REACH and California Proposition 65.



Glossary: TE Standards

The Textile Exchange standards have been developed through a multi-stakeholder approach to support the integrity of product claims by providing verification from an independent third-party.

Mission: Textile Exchange inspires and equips people to accelerate sustainable practices in the textile value chain. We focus on minimizing the harmful impacts of the global textile industry and maximizing its positive effects.

What We Do

  • Convene, inform and build capacity in our membership base and across the industry
  • Advocate product and industry integrity
  • Help bring positive innovations to scale
  • Improve organic farmers’ visibility, access to stable markets, and better develop business capabilities through education
  • Create partnerships that accelerate sustainable practices across the global textile industry


The Content Claim Standard (CCS) applies the two Textile Exchange principles of maintaining the identity of a raw material as well as tracking the raw material from input to the final product. It can be used for any raw material on a business-to-business basis.


The Global Recycled Standard is an international, voluntary, full product standard that sets requirements for third-party certification of recycled content, chain of custody, social and environmental practices, and chemical restrictions. The GRS is intended to meet the need of companies looking to verify the recycled content of their products (both finished and intermediate products) and to verify responsible social, environmental, and chemical practices in the production of these products. The objectives of the GRS are to define requirements to ensure accurate content claims, good working conditions, and that harmful environmental and chemical impacts are minimized. The standard covers processing, manufacturing, packaging, labeling, trading and distribution of all products made with a minimum of 20% recycled material (the minimum content percentage for labeling with the GRS v3 logo is 50%).


The Organic Content Standard (OCS) is a standard for tracking and verifying the content of organically grown materials in a final product. The Organic Content Standard (OCS) applies to any non-food product containing 5-100% organic material. It verifies the presence and amount of organic material in a final product. It tracks the flow of a raw material from the source to the final product and this process is certified by an accredited third party. It allows for transparent, consistent and comprehensive independent evaluation and verification of organic material content claims on products.



The TE Recycled Claim Standard verifies the presence and amount of recycled material in a final product through input and chain-of-custody verification from a third party. It allows for transparent, consistent and comprehensive independent evaluation and verification of recycled material content claims on products.


The TE Responsible Down Standard (RDS) ensures that down or feathers are sourced from responsibly treated geese, ducks, or other waterfowl, and tracks the material through the supply chain.  The chain of custody of the certified down is backed up by TE’s Content Claim Standard.


The Responsible Wool Standard is currently in development. This is designed to be a global standard that will protect animal welfare, influence best practices, ensure traceability and ultimately give consumers clear and trustworthy information that will allow them to make responsible choices.


Wool is an important fiber in the textile industry; it has a long history, and an even longer future. Its versatility, performance characteristics, and comfort give it great value in a range of applications, and keep it as a perennial favorite among consumers.

Wool owes its unique properties to the sheep that grow it, and we owe it to the sheep to ensure that their welfare is being protected. To this end, Textile Exchange has initiated the development of the Responsible Wool Standard. The RWS is designed to be a global standard that will protect animal welfare, influence best practices, ensure traceability, and ultimately give consumers clear and trustworthy information that will allow them to make responsible choices.

Work on the RWS began in February 2014, after H&M contacted TE about addressing their wool supply. The decision was made to involve the full industry, and as a result the development of the standard is being done through the International Working Group. This group represents the broad spectrum of interested parties, including animal welfare groups, brands, farmers, supply chain members, industry associations, as well as apparel, home, and carpeting brands.

Work on the RWS began in February 2014, after H&M contacted TE about addressing their wool supply. The decision was made to involve the full industry, and as a result the development of the standard is being done through the International Working Group. This group represents the broad spectrum of interested parties, including animal welfare groups, brands, farmers, supply chain members, industry associations, as well as apparel, home, and carpeting brands.

Organic Content Standard (OCS)

TE Recycled Claim Standard

Responsible Down Standard (new)

Content Claim Standard (CCS)

Global Recycled Standard (GRS)





Glossary: Textile Exchange

Textile Exchange is a membership-based non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating sustainable practices in the textile industry. We envision a textile industry that protects and restores the environment and enhances lives. Industry Integrity is foundational to the work of Textile Exchange, and seeks to support the transparency and integrity of sustainability claims in the marketplace. To learn more about Textile Exchange, visit our website:




Glossary: Sustainable Furnishings Council

A green furnishings organization, Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC) is a non-profit coalition of suppliers, manufacturers, retailers, and designers formed to promote sustainable practices within the furnishings industry. In 2008, SFC launched a public advertising and in-store tagging program for consumers to identify retailers and products that exceed SFC threshold sustainability standards. SFC maintains three levels: Standard for retailers and manufacturers committed to improve their sustainability performance, Exemplary for retailers and manufacturers meeting or exceeding proven levels of performance, and the Designer specifically aimed at furniture designers. The Exemplary Level addresses: reducing Stockholm chemicals throughout supply chain; life cycle certification; reuse and end of life management; social equity; independent third party audited Social Equity Supplier Conduct; educational content for climate change; use of Green-e certified renewable energy; tree-free approach to all documents; recycling and reduced packaging; and innovation credits.



Glossary: Specialty Sleep Association (SSA) : a non-profit association promoting the full spectrum of new technology bedding. SSA members are retailers, manufacturers and suppliers that develop, manufacture, market and sell innovative, new-technology mattress and bedding products including: visco-elastic memory foam beds; latex rubber beds; airbeds; flotation beds; gel beds; adjustable beds; futons and convertible beds; beds made from soy, bamboo, wool, 100% cotton; bed frames; and bedding. SSA’s BedfaxTM program is a manufacturer self-declaration and labeling program designed to help consumers understand the environmental and safety attributes of mattresses. Participating manufacturers must display a “Consumer Disclosure Label” (CDL) describing the contents of components in percentages by weight and providing additional information about environmental claims made by the manufacturer.



Glossary: SACERT Soil Association Certification

Soil Association Certification Limited is the wholly owned subsidiary of the Soil Association. Over 70% of all organic products now sold in the UK carry the Soil Association symbol. We are the UK’s largest organic certification body. Our team of certification officers, technical staff and inspectors are experienced and dedicated. Working nationally and internationally, we provide unrivalled support, before, during and after certification.

The Soil Association’s organic standards are more exacting than those set by either EU or UK authorities. These standards put our principles into action, and are based on respect and integrity - not profit.

Financial surplus from certification work is ploughed back into developing the organic movement - and its market, through our owning body Soil Association.

Our long-standing expertise is just one of the things that sets us apart from other certification bodies. We have been certifying product since 1973 and we are able to offer our licensees an unrivalled service, technical knowledge and guidance through - and beyond - the certification process.

With our symbol on your packaging, you are sending a clear message to consumers that your products meet a strict set of organic standards.



Glossary: SATRA Technology Centre

SATRA is an independent research and testing organization established in 1919. It has technical facilities in the UK and China serving customers throughout the world. As well as testing products and components to European and international standards across a wide range of industry sectors, SATRA develops, manufactures and sells test equipment. SATRA is a Notified Body for various European directives including personal protection equipment (PPE), which is one of SATRA’s largest sector operations. SATRA has its own chemicals analysis laboratory for testing restricted substances in accordance with European REACH, and US chemicals regulations for which it is CPSC-accredited.

SATRA is considered a leading technical authority for footwear and leather. Companies from these industries can become members of SATRA to gain exclusive access to SATRA test methods, accreditation, consultancy, research facilities, technical training and factory production management systems. A number of SATRA systems are recognised in the supply chain as setting industry standards for quality and production efficiency.

As well as the knowledge and experience of its technologists, what distinguishes SATRA is the volume of technical information it has published since 1935 in the form of magazines and books to help promote quality, excellence and professionalism throughout consumer products industries. Much of this information is now available online. 



Glossary: Organic Trade Association (OTA)

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the membership-based business association for the organic industry in North America. Founded in 1985, OTA is the leading voice for organic agriculture and trade in the United States, representing over 6,500 businesses across 49 states. Its members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers, and others. Organic products represented include organic foods, ingredients and beverages, as well as organic fibers, personal care products, pet foods, nutritional supplements, household cleaners and flowers.

Mission:  OTA’s mission is to promote and protect organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public, and the economy.  - See more at:



Glossary: OneCert®

certifies to major organic markets   email:

  • USDA National Organic Program (NOP)
  • European Organic Regulations (EC 834/2007)
  • Japan Agricultural Standard (JAS)
  • Indian National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP)
  • US/Canada Organic Equivalency Arrangement (USCOEA)
  • Export Certificates for Japan (NOP Equivalent)
  • Export Certificates for Taiwan (NOP Equivalent)

OneCert certifies organic textiles and inputs

  • Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS)
  • Organic Content Standards (OCS) 100 & Blende



Glossary: OEKO-TEX® Standard 100

The OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 is an independent testing and certification system for textile raw materials, intermediate and end products at all stages of production. Examples for items eligible for certification: Raw and dyed/finished yarns, raw and dyed/finished fabrics and knits, ready-made articles (all types of clothing, domestic and household textiles, bed linen, terry cloth items, textile toys and more).

Criteria:  Testing for harmful substances includes:

  • illegal substances
  • legally regulated substances
  • known harmful (but not legally regulated) chemicals
  • as well as parameters for health care

In their entirety the requirements clearly exceed existing national legislation.

Laboratory tests and product classes:  OEKO-TEX® testing for harmful substances always focus on the actual use of the textile. The more intensive the skin contact of a product, the stricter the human ecological requirements to be met.

Accordingly there are four product classes:

  • Product class I:
    Textile items for babies and toddlers up to 3 years (clothing, toys, bed linen, terry cloth items etc.)
  • Product class II:
    Textiles used close to the skin (underwear, bed linen, T-shirts etc.)
  • Product class III:
    Textiles used away from the skin (jackets, coats etc.)
  • Product class IV:
    Furnishing materials (curtains, table cloths, upholstery materials etc.)

Certification:  The requirement for certification of textile products according to OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 is that all components of an item have to comply with the required criteria without exception – that means in addition to the outer material also sewing threads, linings, prints etc. as well as non-textile accessories such as buttons, zip fasteners, rivets etc.



Glossary: NSF International

an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides standards development, product certification, auditing, education and risk management for public health and the environment.  NSF International is an accredited, third-party certification body that tests and certifies products to verify they meet these public health and safety standards. Products that meet these standards bear the NSF Mark. The NSF Sustainability division offers a range of sustainable business solutions, including standards development and certification for green products such as carpet, flooring, fabrics and other building materials; and process verification services such as greenhouse gas verification, environmental foot-printing, and environmental management systems registrations.


Glossary: National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Better Business Bureau

reviews national advertising for truthfulness and accuracy and to foster public confidence in the credibility of advertising.  NAD provides an alternative to litigation for settling false advertising claims.  While the final case decisions are made public by NAD, they cannot be used for advertising or promotional purposes.  Source: Better Business Bureau.



Glossary: Made in USA

a label enforced by the FTC. Products using the Made in USA label without qualification must be “all or virtually all” made in America. Products may also be advertised using qualified claims, in accordance with the FTC standard, such as “Made in USA from imported parts” or “Assembled in USA.” Automobiles, textiles, wool and fur products must include a statement of U.S content; other products may voluntarily be advertised as containing U.S. content but only in accordance with the FTC Made in USA standard.  Source: 62 Fed. Reg. no. 231, 63,756, Dec. 2, 1997.



Glossary: International Sleep Products Association (ISPA)

The industry’s trade organization representing mattress manufacturers and suppliers throughout the world. ISPA provides exclusive industry surveys and statistics, advocacy support, educational offerings, trade show, safety research through its Sleep Products Safety Council, consumer research and education through its Better Sleep Council, and publications – BedTimes and Sleep Savvy magazines. ISPA has been active on mattress end-of-life issues and has formed the Mattress Recycling Council, a non-profit corporation that is developing and implementing mattress recycling laws enacted by several states.  ISPA provides information on mattress recycling and disposal facilities on its website.



Glossary: International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

responsible for the ISO 9000, ISO 14000, ISO 27000, ISO 22000 and other international management standards, including the ISO 14000 series which deals with environmental management systems, eco-labeling, life cycle assessment, product category rules, and environmental product declarations.  ISO is not a certification itself but rather a standard to which some certifications adhere.