Textile Brand Certification Strategy for a Global Apparel Retailer

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An apparel retailer was working to determine a strategy for certifying its supply chain against industry textile sustainability standards (e.g. Textile Exchange CCS 3.0, G.O.T.S., FSC, etc.) and exercise best practices supporting product claims.

The apparel retailer wanted support and analysis to understand the following:

  • Which certifications were most material to its business and would provide the biggest impact with customers;
  • The robustness of its verification processes and procedures and the type of sustainability related certifications standards held by vendors in its individual fibre and material supply chains at that time; and
  • What steps and resources were needed to enable its success in certifying the supply chain to the brand level, allowing the usage of certification logos on product tags.

This analysis would be used to develop a strategy roadmap for the apparel retailer with key recommendations for supply chain and brand level certification.


Anthesis completed the following steps as part of two phases to develop a roadmap for the apparel retailer.

Phase 1 – Analytics

  1. Certification Prioritisation: Conducted an exercise to determine which certifications would be most material to the retailer based on material volume, level of effort (cost, time), and level of impact (e.g., sustainability impact, customer).
  2. Certification Analysis: Supported the retailer’s understanding of all the 12 prioritised certification requirements and internal processes to enable management of brand certifications and identify overlap in existing certifications to create more efficient outcomes.
  3. Situational Analysis: Reviewed internal documentation and conducted stakeholder interviews to allow Anthesis to understand the retailer’s current capabilities and internal processes towards becoming certified.
  4. Gap Analysis: This step looked at the current state (situational analysis) and future state (certification requirements) and identified the gaps and improvement opportunities needed to achieve certification.

Phase 2 – Solutions

  1. Strategic Road Mapping: As part of this progress an action plan was developed with support provided to the retailer to develop best practice standard operating procedures, process flows and RACI matrices.


Phase 1 – Analytics

  1. Certification Prioritisation: This process helped the retailer to identify the most relevant and impactful certification standards from a list of 19 to be aligned with or certified to, based on its specific business model and existing supply chain.
  2. Certification Analysis: Anthesis delivered a detailed comparative analysis of the specific requirements at a brand level for each of the 12 chosen standards.
  3. Situational Analysis and Gap Analysis: Anthesis provided the retailer with a detailed gap analysis against the certification requirements, based on its existing processes and capabilities as a business.

Phase 2 – Solutions

  1. Strategic Road Mapping: Anthesis provided the retailer with a strategic roadmap and action plan to achieve Brand Certification for the standards. This also included recommendations for standard operating procedures to correctly manage the requirements of the certifications internally in a streamlined manner and to support the development of a RACI matrix for the overarching management system.