Oeko-Tex, a Certification Group, Updates Its Programs

Since the 1990s, the Oeko-Tex Association has set standards for consumer protection and sustainability in textiles.

Certification by Oeko-Tex is considered independent proof that products are made without illegal and harmful substances. On Jan. 18, Cone Denim’s factory in Mexico received an Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification on some of its selected denim products, said Steve Maggard, Cone Denim’s senior vice president of operations and manufacturing.

“The expansion of our Oeko-Tex certification to denim fabrics produced from our Mexico facilities offers additional confidence in our products and opens new opportunities to our customers worldwide,” Maggard said in a statement.

Oeko-Tex often updates guidelines and rules for its various certification bodies. On Jan. 30, the Zurich-headquartered organization provided updates for some of its guidelines and rules.

Oeko-Tex updated its advisory of harmful substances with its Standard 100 criteria. Harmful substances included the chemical compound phenol, which has been used as a disinfectant. Also deemed harmful was bisphenol A, which is used in the manufacture of epoxy resins, and aromatic amine aniline, which is used in the manufacture of polyurethane.

The European Chemical Agency ECHA found that aniline is suspected of causing cancer and genetic defects. If chemical residues of these substances are found, Oeko-Tex will not certify them.

The effort supports environmental organization Greenpeace’s Detox Campaign. It has challenged the world’s manufacturers, including fashion companies, to stop using chemicals found to pollute the environment.

Oeko-Tex also announced that the substance quinoline is under observation. The substance is used to make dyes.

Oeko-Tex also updated minimum requirements and criteria for awarding its Made In Green by Oeko-Tex. According to an Oeko-Tex statement, the new requirements streamline getting the Made In Green labels on clothing and furnishings. Made In Green labels feature unique product QR codes, which provide full traceability and transparency for the consumer. The organization also streamlined the questionnaires for Sustainable Textile Production by Oeko-Tex.

Retailers and manufacturers who want to show the public that their supply chains follow rules for sustainable manufacturing apply to STeP by Oeko-Tex.

The certification organization also provided updates for its Eco Passport program. Companies with products certified by the program are listed in the Oeko-Tex Buying Guide. Previously, individual certificates had to be issued for individual categories. With a recent update, retailers can list up to five products from different categories on an Eco Passport certificate.

Oeko-Tex is a global organization. It stands for the International Association for Research and Testing in the Field of Textile and Leather Technology. It is an association of 19 independent textile-research and testing institutes in Europe and Japan, according to the organization’s website. The site lists a U.S. office in Indiana.