Good Guide: How Good Are Your Clothes Made?

Pair of jeans with zipperAlways dressing in eco-friendly, organic clothing is a tough one for many of us based on local level availability, style and some times price, so we may often find ourselves in a dilemma of how to green that non-green clothing purchase.

Good Guide – a consumer website that provides information on the health, environmental and social impacts of consumer products and has rated thousands of products in six categories– has just launched the first-ever rating system for apparel brands.

According to Good Guide, the best brands disclose the identity of their suppliers, audit how they perform on labor issues and make public the steps they take to respond to violations. These brands also design their products using life cycle principles and educate consumers about how to reduce impacts.

118 brands have been initially rated. Organic t-shirt brand and certified Green Business, HAE Now, standing for Humans, Animals, Environment, ranked number 1 with more mainstream brands like Patagonia,  Levi’s, Nike, Timberland and Converse ranking in the Top 15.

For instance, Levi’s ranks number 1 in jeans with a high environmental score due to their lifecycle approach to product design, work with the Better Cotton Initiative, the new Water<Less collection of jeans (made using up to 96% less water in the finishing process) and efforts to educate consumers about how to care for their clothes through the Care Tag initiative.  For Patagonia products, consumers can track the impact from design to delivery via their Footprint Chronicles which outlines not only the pros of the item but the cons as well.

On the other hand, brands like Polo and Hollister, and labels by Sears, Kohls and K-Mart ranked on the lower end of the spectrum.

Beyond the obvious need to rate the most widely recognized and purchased brands, GoodGuide also has the capability of identifying specific brands most intriguing to their users.  Their goal, over time, is to have ratings for every brand around, but they’re able to prioritize based on users’ wants and needs.

Good Guide iPhone App And to make it even easier, GoodGuide offers an iPhone app providing instant ranking information.  Just scan the barcode of the product and immediately see detailed ratings for health, environment and social responsibility for more than 50,000 products and companies. (And for us Android users, an app is on the way)

So…how good are your clothes and where do your clothes rank?  Will this change your buying behaviors?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lynn Colwell February 25, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Thanks to you I’m just loading in the mobile version. Really appreciate your pointing it out!

2 Jeanne February 25, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Hey Lynn! Would love to hear how it works since I’m waiting for the other version. Come back and let us know.

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