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Oeko-Tex® Standard 100

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Evaluation Tool

Oeko-Tex® Standard 100

Tool Category

Standards, Certifications & Labels

At a Glance

The Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 is a testing and certification system for textile raw materials, intermediates, and end products at all stages of production. It provides a globally uniform safety standard for companies within the textile and clothing industry to assess potentially harmful substances in textile products, and provides consumers with a product label to indicate that the certified textile does not contain health-hazardous substances at a concentration that could be hazardous to human health.

Retailers can access a database that enables them to search for certified products by name, company, and brand name.

Tool Website(s)

www.oeko-tex.com

Tool Owner/Sponsor

Oeko-Tex International Association for the Assessment of Environmentally Friendly Textiles

Type of Entity

Non-profit

Focus of Evaluation

Products

Product Stage of Life Evaluated

Raw materials, manufacturing, transportation, consumer use, end of life

Impact(s) Evaluated

Ecological health, energy use, human health, material impacts, water use, worker health and safety

Tool Description

The Oeko-Tex® label can be used by manufacturers on products or product groups as long as it has been demonstrated with extensive laboratory tests that all components, including accessories, comply with the specified test criteria. The laboratory tests currently comprise around 100 test parameters and are based on international test standards and other recognized testing procedures. These also include simulation tests, which take into account all ways by which harmful substances could be absorbed into the human body (orally, via the skin, or by inhalation).

Harmful substances that are tested for include: substances which are prohibited by law, such as carcinogenic dyestuffs; substances which are regulated by law, such as formaldehyde; substances which are not yet regulated or prohibited by law but current knowledge determines they are harmful to health, such as pesticides; and other parameters such as colorfastness and a skin-friendly pH-value.

A textile product is placed in one of the four Oeko-Tex® product classes based on its intended use:

  • Product Class 1 are textiles and textile toys for babies and small children up to the age of three
  • Product Class 2 are textiles which have a large part of their surface in direct contact with the skin
  • Product Class 3 are textiles that do not come into direct contact with the skin, or only a small part comes into contact with the skin
  • Product Class 4 are furnishing textiles for decorative purposes.

The greater the contact with the skin, the more stringent the requirements.

Product Categories

Apparel & Footwear; Furniture; Textiles

Tool Requirements

Manufacturers must apply for certification with the following information: a description of the products to be tested; details of the stages of processing carried out to manufacture the textile; list of all dyestuffs and auxiliaries used; safety data sheets for finishing agents; and copies of certificates for already certified source materials. The application is submitted to the test institute together with representative test samples of the textile product (or accessory).

Cost of Tool

Certification costs consist of the licensing fee, costs for company visits by the commissioned testing institute, as well as lab costs (depending on testing requirements). An annual certification varies from approximately $1,100 for an "easy" case to $21,000 for complex cases. An estimate can be obtained from an accredited certifying institute. See www.oeko-tex.com/OekoTex100_PUBLIC/content.asp?area=hauptmenue&site=institute&cls=02&tr=1

Evaluation Frequency

Certification renewal is required annually.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths: The Oeko-Tex Standard 100 has worldwide brand recognition. Textile products at all stages of the processing chain can be tested and certified. Interest in the US is growing and over 90 US companies are current certificate holders.

Weaknesses: There is only one member institute certified to conduct testing in the United States.

Examples of Retailers That Use It

LL Bean, Sierra Trading Post (Polartec), Target

Similar Tools that Serve the Same Industry or Product Category

Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), The Ecological and Toxicological Association of Dyes and Organic Pigment Manufacturers (ETAD)

For More Information

Oeko-Tex® Standard 100: info@oeko-tex.com

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