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Image by Mert Guller on Unsplash.

What do sustainability labels mean?

Have you ever noticed sustainability symbols on the products you buy and wondered what they meant? They are there to help. But it can be pretty tough to figure out what they actually mean. These icons verify products that meet certain environmental criteria. And in your quest for sustainability, learning them can make your life simpler.

Sustainability labels are proof of responsible sourcing, production, compostability and recyclability. The symbols protect you from false environmental claims or greenwashing. But they can be confusing. Read on to discover some of the most common ones and what they mean.

What are the most common sustainability labels?


The Fairtrade Foundation is a charity based in the UK. It oversees production and supply, working hard to ensure fair deals for farmers. Buy Fairtrade and you know the people producing your goods work for fair pay in safe conditions. And you can rest assured that your products will be of good quality.

Soil Association

The Soil Association wants to transform the way you eat, farm and care for the environment. It promotes a world that respects nature. And its mission is to help you understand your relationship with the soil, plants and animals. You’ll see this icon on over 70% of organic products in the UK. It indicates a commitment to wildlife and nature.


The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is the world’s leading force for better forest management. Its aims are simple: sustainability, conservation and restoration. Buy an FSC-certified product and you’ll know the wood comes from a responsibly managed forest.

The Mobius Loop

The Mobius Loop symbol indicates a product is recyclable. But be aware. It doesn’t guarantee your local recycling centre or collection point will accept the item. And it doesn’t tell you whether a product is made from recycled materials. Look out for this symbol on your products and use the Scrapp app to help you determine how to recycle it.

The Leaping Bunny

The Leaping Bunny Logo is recognised all around the world. It shows that a product hasn’t been tested on animals. To ensure your cosmetics and personal hygiene products are cruelty-free, look out for this symbol worldwide.

Sustainability labels can give you the confidence to know your purchases meet sustainability standards. And while they can be confusing, getting to know what they mean is definitely worth the effort.