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26 Jun

Social Accountability International – SA8000 Standard

What is the SA8000 Standard?

The SA8000 standard certifies an organisation’s dedication to the fair treatment of its workers. This standard also helps secure ethical and fair labour conditions for over two million workers across a number of  industries. It’s therefore an important and recognised measure for ethical labour practices.

SA8000 measures social performance of organisations through nine elements:

  1. Child Labor
  2. Forced or Compulsory Labor
  3. Health and Safety
  4. Freedom of Association and Right to Collective Bargaining
  5. Discrimination
  6. Disciplinary Practices
  7. Working Hours
  8. Remuneration
  9. Management System

As of 2018, 3,728 facilities are SA8000 certified, in 61 countries, and in 56 different industries.

It is important to note however that the SA8000 is a voluntary certifiable standard and manufacturers must have their compliance certified by an accredited third party. Moreover, this certification is not consumer-facing, meaning that it cannot be printed on packaging or labels, and is only intended for brands and purchasers.

A brief history of the SA8000 Standard

The standard was established by Social Accountability International (SAI) in 1997, which is a  “global multi-stakeholder standard-setting organization whose mission is to advance the human rights of workers around the world”. SA8000 also reflects labour provisions described in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Labour Organization conventions.

Some brands that use SA8000 Standard



Matt & Nat

Girlfriend Collective

Useful links

To learn more about the SA8000 Standard, visit:

Editor's note

Feature image via Unsplash.

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