OEKO-TEX Standard 1000 at its highest level to date
The ability to prove the existence of sustainable production conditions for textile items is becoming increasingly important as an additional quality feature for companies in the textile and clothing sectors. This has also been confirmed by the most recent statistics from the International OEKO-TEX Association in relation to the OEKO-TEX Standard 1000.
With 57 valid certificates for textile production companies across all manufacturing phases, the independent certification system for environmentally-friendly and socially-compatible production premises has now recorded its highest number of certifications since its introduction in 1995. In the last year alone the number of certified companies increased by about 20%.
“For manufacturers along the textile value chain, the OEKO-TEX 1000 certification of their production locations offers double added value” explains OEKO-TEX Secretary-General Dr. Jean-Pierre Haug summarising the benefits of the customised standard for the textile sector.
In a fiercely competitive international market, ecological and social manufacturing conditions are an additional sales argument for each company's own products. However, the implementation of the required OEKO-TEX criteria is mainly used by companies as a springboard to assist them in the more efficient design of their production processes based on their individual corporate philosophy and their company innovations, thereby enabling them also to benefit from economic aspects.
Most OEKO-TEX Standard 1000 certificates are issued to finishers (32 %), followed by spinners (22 %), weavers (20 %), manufacturers of ready-made products (14 %), yarn dyers (7 %) and knitters (5 %). The participation of companies across all production phases is proof of the unique attribute of the OEKO-TEX Standard 1000, namely that it can be applied to all companies in the value chain and not only to finishers or manufacturers of ready-made products.
Many of the certified companies combine several production phases at one location, including some fully integrated manufacturers such as China-based Esquel Group, which in addition to its own textile production also vertically integrates the cotton cultivation, product development plus the packaging and sales of its high-quality shirts, blouses and polo-shirts under one roof.
The focus of the OEKO-TEX Standard 1000 certification is in Europe and where most certified companies are located in Spain (45 %), Switzerland (11 %) and Germany (9 %). Since the first certification of a spinner outside Europe in 2008, nine further companies in China, Egypt and Thailand have now also been certified. Certificates have now been issued to a total of 12 countries. In Spain a comparatively large number of companies have been awarded the OEKO-TEX Standard 1000 because the certification is one of the pre-requisites to retaining the “Made in Green” Label - a very popular and deeply-enshrined social campaign for sustainably produced products in the region.
In order to respond to the growing interest in the OEKO-TEX Standard 1000 primarily from the Asian producer countries, the OEKO-TEX Association, with its 15 worldwide member institutes and 49 contact offices, currently has over 64 specially trained auditors in 27 countries with the requisite expertise to carry out the environmental audits at the companies applying for the certification.