Eco Label: OEKO-TEX® (by: Katrina Luo)



About Certification: An independent testing and certification system for textile raw materials intermediate and end products at all stages of production. Items that are eligible for certification are range from raw material to ready-made articles. Including all types of clothing, domestic and household fabrics and textiles, bed linen, terry cloth items, textile and toys and more.

Sector: OEKO-TEX® standard 100 was introduced in Austria in 1992, same time as the global standard for potential risk of harmful substances was established. Organization includes 15 neutral test and research institutes in Europe and Japan with contact offices in over 60 countries around the world, headquarter is currently located in Switzerland.

Key Issues Raised: To level out global differences regarding the assessment of possible harmful substances in textiles.

Criteria: Testing for harmful substances include: illegal substances legally regulated substances known harmful (but not legally regulated) chemicals as well as parameters for heath care. In their entirety the requirements clearly exceed existing national legislation.

About the Program: Due to the production stage from raw material to finished textile product is often located in a different place in the world, therefore, this extremely fragmented structure is reflected in the complex supply relationships between all the involved throughout the textile processing chain. On top of this, different environmental regulations apply in the individual countries involved in textile production.

Review/Monitoring Process: Four classes according to actual use of the textile and level of skin contact of a product. Class I is textile items for babies and toddlers up to 3 years, Class II is textile used intimate to skin, Class III is textile used away from the skin and Class IV is furnishing material. The requirement for certification of textile products according to OEKO-TEX® standard 100 is that all components of an item have to comply with the required criteria without exception, which means in addition to the outer material also sewing threads, linings, prints etc. as well as non-textile accessories such as buttons, zip fasteners, rivets and etc. The certification has to renew once every year.

Region: Global

Members: More than 8,500 manufacturers in over 80 countries currently participate in OEKO-TEX® standard 100 certification (as of 12/2009)


Benefit: Certification has to renew and review annually, this can ensure the material stay qualify from time to time.

Failing: The classification of certification should not only according to the intimacy level to the skin. It should also consider where the fabric will be used, such as indoor or outdoor, cold or hot environment and etc. Because chemical substance is transformative in different environment.


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