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As customers, we're too much into checking labels to know whether the food we eat and the beauty products are free from toxic chemicals. Chances are, most of us probably ignore what goes into the clothes we wear and the sheets we sleep on.
There are many important things you must consider when buying clothing and other textiles. However, quality and safety are of the utmost importance. And suppose you've recently purchased a piece of organic clothing, a latex mattress, or even a set of organic bed sheets. In that case, you might've come across the Oeko-Tex label, and you're probably curious about what it means and how important it is. In this article, we'll give you all the information you need to know about the Oeko-Tex certification.
OEKO-TEX's official name is kind of cumbersome - the International Association for Research and Testing in the Field of Textile and Leather Ecology. And even though there doesn't seem to be any sort of direct correlation, it's called OEKO-TEX for short! This certification ensures the human-ecological safety of both textile products and leather articles starting from all stages of production, including raw materials and fibers, fabrics, yarns, and ready-to-use end products.
Essentially, OEKO-TEX is a partnership of around 18 textile research institutions and testing laboratories based in countries such as Shirley Technologies Limited (UK), the Nissenken Quality Evaluation Center (Japan), and the DTI Danish Technological Institute.
The Oeko-Tex Association issues labels such as Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex, STeP by Oeko-Tex, Made in Green by Oeko-Tex, Leather Standard by Oeko-Tex, and Eco Passport by Oeko-Tex to be used in textile production.
STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®
STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® is a global independent testing and certification system for raw, semi-finished, as well as finished textile products during all processing stages.
Articles that fall within this certification category include woven and knitted fabrics, raw and dyed/finished yarns, accessories, such as zip fasteners, buttons, sewing threads, ready-made articles such as all kinds of garments, domestic and household textiles, bed linen as well as terry products.
STeP by OEKO-TEX®
Sustainable Textile Production or STeP by OEKO-TEX® is a type of certification system for retail companies, manufacturers, and brands from the entire textile chain who want to communicate their achievements related to sustainable manufacturing processes to the crowd transparently and credibly.
From fiber production to finishing facilities and manufacturers of ready-made textile items, the STep certification is possible for production facilities during all processing stages.
Through modular analysis of all the textile industrial areas, including chemical management, environmental performance, environmental management, occupational health as well as safety, social responsibility, and quality management, this certification allows a comprehensive analysis of the extent of sustainability provided by a production facility.
MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX®
MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX® is an independent textile label that gives importance to both consumer as well as semi-finished products at all levels of the textile supply chain. The certification label assures that the products are manufactured by environmentally friendly processes, made from materials tested for harmful substances, and under safe, healthy, and socially responsible working conditions.
LEATHER STANDARD by OEKO-TEX®
The LEATHER STANDARD by OEKO-TEX® is a global, independent testing and certification system for both leather and leather articles of all production levels. This includes finished leather, semi-finished leather products (wet-blue, wet-white, crust, etc.), leather fiber material, ready-made articles (accessories, leather gloves, garments of all types, leather handbags, leather covers, and many more).
LEATHER STANDARD by OEKO-TEX® assures that all parts of an article meet the required criteria – in addition to the leather, for example, textile fabrics, sewing threads, inserts, prints, labels, etc., as well as non-textile accessories like buttons, zip fasteners, rivets, etc.
ECO PASSPORT by OEKO-TEX®
ECO PASSPORT by OEKO-TEX® is a three-step independent testing and certification system for chemicals, colorants as well as auxiliaries used to manufacture textiles. The three-step verification process analyses whether or not the chemical products and each individual ingredient meet certain requirements regarding sustainability, safety, and compliance with statutory regulations.
Well, this is an often asked question. Today, most people are concerned about how the textiles they use daily can affect their health and the environment. To provide an immense level of safety from chemical substances, make sure that the textiles have surpassed the certification standards. The Oeko-Tex certification is one such independent certification for brands, retailers, and manufacturers from the textile and leather industry. Today it is the most widespread testing and certification system worldwide.
Simply put, organic certification deals with how the raw materials for fabric are grown, and the OEKO-TEX certification is all about the manufacturing and production process of fabric. This means a fabric that is organically certified is not tested for the dangerous chemicals used during the manufacturing process.
It is not always necessary that an Oeko-Tex certified product is organic. For materials to be labeled as certified organic, the basic raw materials must be grown and farmed according to rigid guidelines and without petroleum-based fertilizers, pesticides, and synthetic products. This is just the first step, and the next level of certification considers factors such as the dye that is used, the sewing threads, linings, prints, and non-textile accessories such as buttons. If a product is labeled as Oeko-Tex certified, it is devoid of harmful chemicals and safe for human use.
Yes, it does!. Oeko-Tex is a global standard and has a list of over one hundred substances, including chemicals and metals. It sets limits for the emission of harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde and other Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which are linked to ozone smog, respiratory illnesses, and memory impairment.
We all want our textiles to be free of chemicals, sustainable, have a low environmental impact, and, very importantly, for employees in the industry to have well and safe working conditions in factories.
Opt for textile products that are Oeko-Tex certified. It's a simple way to protect the environment while also keeping those harmful chemicals out of our home, from ourselves, and our surroundings.