SA8000

The SA8000 is a certification for fair production in the factories where the clothing produced. The SA8000 certification only applies to suppliers, so a garment cannot be SA8000 certified, but it can be produced in an SA8000 certified factory.

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How SA8000 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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Environment

Fair Trade

Animal welfare

Improvement

Auditing

0/4
4/4
0/4
0/4
3/4

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Less than 1% of all clothing is produced fairly. - Clean Clothes Campaign

Eco-Friendly

This does not apply to this certification.

Score: 0/4

Fair Trade

The SA8000 has strict criteria for fair production. The criteria of the SA8000 can be found here, along with a description of how to perform an audit for these criteria. The conditions of the SA8000 are based on the guidelines of the International Labor Organization (ILO). The following points can be found in the standard:

  • No child labour, no children under 15 will be employed, or under the minimum working age if it is over 15. Young workers (under 18) do not perform dangerous work and must comply with compulsory education if applicable.
  • No forced labour, so no forced labour like prison labour. Employees may leave the workplace after completing a normal working day and may resign if they give reasonable notice to do so.
  • Clean and safe working conditions. This includes good sanitary facilities and a place to eat. If an employee feels unsafe, they can immediately stop what they are doing without the permission of their supervisor.
  • Employees have the right to form trade unions and to collective bargaining.
  • No discrimination for hiring employees, giving promotions, offering training, etc.
  • Employees will be treated with respect and dignity. No corporal punishment, mental or physical coercion or verbal abuse will be used against personnel.
  • Normal working hours, no more than 48 hours a week, once every 7 days off, no more than 12 hours of overtime. Overtime should not happen too often.
  • Living wage. Employees receive a living wage and a higher wage for overtime. No money should be withheld as punishment.

Score: 4/4 This is exactly what we mean by fair production.

Animal welfare/Vegan

This does not apply to this certification.

Score: 0/4

Reporting and improvement

Organizations that are audited will or will not receive the certification, reports are not made public and organizations aren't encouraged to further improve working conditions after obtaining certification (to our knowledge).

Score: 0/4

Auditing

The audit of the SA8000 certificate first consists of a self-audit. If everything is satisfactory there, an audit is carried out by an independent auditor (of the SAAS).

The audit consists of reviewing the reports, interviews with employees, working conditions and records. There are also two unexpected visits per year to the organization. The certification is valid for 3 years, after which the organization has to go through the audits again to keep the certification.

Score: 4/4

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