Cradle to Cradle

The Cradle to Cradle certificate is based on the methodology developed by Professor Michael Vraungart and William McDonough in 2001. It’s based on the idea of circularity and that waste can become a valuable resource in a production process again if a product is designed properly.

> View the next certificate: Fair Trade International

How C2C scores on a scale of 1 to 4

Find out what's the story behind your clothing by understanding the certificates. Use the scores to discover at a glance what a certificate means in different sustainability areas.

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Fair Trade

Animal welfare




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The Cradle to Cradle certificate provides a framework to assess the safety, circularity and responsibility of materials and products:

Cradle to Cradle scores products in 5 different categories:

  • Material health: ensuring materials are safe for humans and the environment
  • Product circularity: enabling a circular economy through product and process design
  • Clean air and climate protection: generating clean energy and protecting the environment
  • Water and soil stewardship: safeguarding air, water and soil resources
  • Social fairness: embracing safe, fair and equitable labour practices that advance human rights and strong communities

Score: 3/4 Cradle to Cradle has a holistic approach to environmental impact. However, given that there are different levels to the Cradle to Cradle certification it does not automatically imply that a product is eco-friendly.

Fair Trade

In each category, one of four levels is assigned. A product receives the level equal to the lowest score of all categories. These levels are:

  1. Bronze level certification: means that a company has assessed the environmental risks in the final manufacturing phase. They have an environmental policy in place to reduce said environmental risks and progress towards eliminating these risks is a big part of the reassessment of the certificate.
  2. Silver level certification: means that the company not only has an environmental policy in place but also has management systems in place to adopt said policies at their manufacturing facilities.
  3. Gold level certification: means that the company also has a responsible sourcing management system in place. It means a product has a net positive impact on society and the environment, so that it not only reduces harm or offsets negative impact, but also is actively creating a positive impact.
  4. Platinum level certification: environmental objectives are incorporated in employee performance performance evaluations and incentives for employees to actively participate in achieving the company’s environmental goals.

Score: Although Cradle to Cradle emphasizes fair working conditions for re-certification, it does not always imply there are fair working conditions throughout the full supply chain as there are different levels to the certification.

Animal welfare/Vegan

Cradle to Cradle does not have rules for animal friendliness and use of animal materials.

Score: 0/4

Reporting and improvement

The certificate expires after two years. It is renewed if weaker scores are improved.


Auditing is done by independent, accredited institutions.

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