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OEKO-TEX to unveil certification for sustainable textiles
Jan '13
The International OEKO-TEX Association are currently working on an optimized, independent certification for environmentally friendly and socially responsible companies. The objective is to provide globally operating textile brands, retail companies and manufacturers along the textile value chain with trustworthy and transparent documentation of their sustainable production conditions. 
The new certification system with the name 'Sustainable Textile Production (STeP) by OEKOTEX' will be presented to the public for the first time at the Prime Source Forum in Hong Kong on 26 March 2013 and will replace the current OEKO-TEX Standard1000. The launch for the STeP certification is planned for the presentation of the OEKO-TEX Sustainability Award in Frankfurt on 12 June. From this date on the OEKO-TEX Association will be able to carry out the first certifications of production facilities.
'The heart of the new STeP certification', explains OEKO-TEX Secretary GeneralDr Jean-Pierre Haug, 'is the modular analysis of all relevant company areas such as quality management, use of chemicals, environmental protection, environmental management, social responsibility and health and safety.
As the certification tool is specifically tailored to the situations in the individual processing stages of the textile and clothing industry, it can provide interested companies with targeted support for continuous improvement of their production conditions.'
Precondition for certification is the successful auditing of the production facilities through one of the OEKO-TEX institutes. The assessment in how far STeP certified companies are already working sustainably is made on the basis of a scoring system by means of a web-based process.
In order to create widespread acceptance for the new STeP certification from the start, the aim is to include as many interested parties as possible – brand manufacturers, production facilities, retail companies, associations and NGOs – with regard to the weighting of the individual modules for assessment of sustainability. The required criteria for STeP certification are regularly verified and, if necessary, updated by the OEKO-TEX Association, taking into account international legislation and standards as well as current market developments. 
Unannounced audits at the certified companies are also part of the certification system. Already existing company certificates such asISO 9000, ISO 14001, SA 8000 etc. are recognized for STeP certification and will be taken into account for evaluation of the individual modules.

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