The STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® is a comprehensive, third-party certification system for textiles that have been tested for harmful substances. Textiles can only be certified if all components of a labelled item meet the specified requirements.
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STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®
Why is my MADE IN GREEN labelled product tested for harmful substances?
There are several good reasons we test for harmful substances:
- The safety of textiles cannot be determined through visual inspection alone – not even by experts. Laboratory tests, based on scientific findings and carried out by facilities with expertise (such as the OEKO-TEX® institutes), are the only way to ascertain beyond a shadow of a doubt whether your products are free from unwanted harmful substances.
- In addition, various stages of production are conducted around the world and numerous countries have very different regulations regarding possible harmful substances. Transparent, globally standardised test criteria, as with STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®, are therefore indispensable when testing for harmful substances.
- Many properties (performance, color, etc.) that we look for in our clothing and home textiles can only be achieved through the targeted use of chemicals. It is incredibly important that the production process uses no unwanted substances which remain as a residue on the final product, possibly causing health problems for the wearer.
- Another advantage of OEKO-TEX® testing for harmful substances is that it is suitable for all types of textile products available today – for example for functional sports clothing made of synthetic fibres as well as for shirts made of organic cotton. Problematic substances can enter into the products at all stages of production such as pre-treatment (cleaning), dyeing, finishing or textile printing.
What are the criteria for STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® laboratory tests?
Since its introduction in 1992, the central focus of the STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® has been the development of test criteria, limit values and test methods on a scientific basis. On the basis of its comprehensive and strict catalogue of measures, with several hundred regulated individual substances, the STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® takes account of:
- Important legal regulations, such as banned Azo colourants, formaldehyde, pentachlorophenol, cadmium, nickel, etc.
- Numerous harmful chemicals, even if they are not yet legally regulated.
- Requirements of Annexes XVII and XIV of the European Chemicals Regulation REACh as well as of the ECHA SVHC Candidate List insofar as they are assessed by expert groups of the OEKO-TEX® Association to be relevant for fabrics, textiles, garments or accessories. Discussions and developments that are considered to be relevant are taken into account as quickly and effectively as possible through updates to the STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® requirements.
- Requirements from the US Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) regarding lead.
- Numerous also environmentally relevant substance classes
With its decades of experience, the OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 therefore contributes to high and effective product safety from a consumer’s point of view. Test criteria and limit values in many cases go far beyond applicable national and international standards. Extensive product checks and regular company audits also ensure that the industry has a globally sustainable awareness of the responsible use of chemicals. With this concept, the OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 has taken on a pioneering role for many years.
Is testing for harmful substances according to STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® reliable?
- STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® certification is only possible if all components of a product comply with the required test criteria… no exception. Not only is the fabric checked for harmful chemicals, but all other parts of the finished item such as sewing threads, accessory parts (e.g. buttons, studs, zips), coatings, prints, etc., are checked as well.
- The OEKO-TEX® test criteria are revised every year and are therefore always up to date with regard to legal regulations and the newest scientific findings.
- The OEKO-TEX® test criteria have global validity. It does not matter where the certified products are manufactured or where you buy them.
- OEKO-TEX® laboratory testing can be applied to all sorts of textile products regardless of what they are made from (synthetic materials, natural fibres, organic cotton, recycled materials, etc.).
- Testing and certification of all products are carried out exclusively by independent third-party facilities: the accredited research and testing institutes of the International OEKO-TEX® Association.
- OEKO-TEX® certified items are subject to random testing after certification to ensure compliance with the specified requirements. The systematic control tests amount to 25 % of all certificates issued per year.
- The OEKO-TEX® laboratory tests take into account all conceivable ways how harmful substances could enter the body, i.e. through skin contact, by breathing, and through the mouth.
- Consumers can independently verify the validity of a label at www.oeko-tex.com/validity by using the certificate number displayed on the label.