• Sourcing Journal

Oeko-Tex Releases New Regulations for Sustainability and Hazardous Materials

By Arthur Friedman

As the new year begins, Oeko-Tex has updated its guidelines, test criteria and limit values for their certifications and services in line with consistent consumer protection and the sustainability of textiles and leather products.

Currently, 16,000 manufacturers, brands and retailers in nearly 100 countries work with Oeko-Tex to ensure that their products are tested for possible harmful chemicals, using Oeko-Tex labels as information for their purchasing decisions. After a transition period, all new regulations will come into force on April 1.

“Oeko-Tex aims to provide customers and partners with the best possible services and certifications,” Oeko-Tex secretary general Georg Dieners said. “For this reason, the test criteria for Oeko-Tex standards are updated at least once a year based on new scientific information or statutory requirements. A special project in 2021 will be the integration of the carbon and water footprint into our Made in Green label.”

One key change is that Oeko-Tex has developed an approach to integrate recycled materials for greater sustainability as part of the Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex label and certification. This uniform approach requires a minimum amount of recycled material in an article, different test programs depending on the origin of the material and the definition of the necessary background information.

A hangtag informs consumers about recycling in the context of a circular economy. Recycled materials are difficult to certify, the organization noted. With their previous life, recycled materials pose different challenges than virgin material. For this reason, they are treated differently within Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex and receive a special mention in the scope of the certificate.

In the Leather Standard by Oeko-Tex, partner institutes w