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Has Oeko-Tex worked enough towards spreading awareness amongst textile corporate houses with regards to sustainability and environment friendliness?
Definitively yes; with more than 11’000 running certificates, which are valid for at longest one year, the number of mills which are regularly contacted and informed about current developments and new trends is very high. The big problem, if we talk again about introducing sustainability in the supply chain, currently is not very high pressure from buyers, i.e. brands and retailers. But I’m sure, as a consequence of the current discussions on various platforms and initiatives, this pressure will increase. Textile mills which can demonstrate that they are working already on a high level of sustainability will definitively have a big advantage on the market.
Can you explain a bit about the label 'Confidence in Textiles’? What is it all about?
Under the slogan "Confidence in Textiles", we introduced the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 more than 20 years ago. At this time, the first green wave was flushing over Europe and many publications accused textiles to be toxic and dangerous to the end users. Actually, the development of Oeko-Tex Standard was an extrapolation of already existing requirements for foodstuffs to textiles. However, a lot of work was necessary to establish useful and adequate limit values for textiles since the route of intake differ quite a lot compared to foodstuffs and drinking water. The Oeko-Tex Standard 100 itself is definitively a success story and has influenced the development of legal requirements imposed to textiles in the world immensely. My personal feeling about the future of this standard is still very positive, since it is a very effective tool to demonstrate that the produced textile goods meet the requirements in term of chemical content of nearly all existing laws in the world and "restricted substance lists" from various organizations, brands and retailers.
You also seem to organize events and provide awards to textile companies. Can you describe a bit about these events that you organize?
The companies following our two standards, i.e. Oeko-Tex Standard 100 and Oeko-Tex Standard 1000, which is the name of precursor of the coming STeP Standard, do invest a lot in their performance. Oeko-Tex Association has decided that it is time to honor the most sustainable companies from both systems on occasion of our 20th anniversary. The companies have had time to register themselves for the award and the best of them will receive the award this summer.
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