OEKO-TEX® new regulations to come into effect from April

08 Jan '20
3 min read
Pic: Oeko-Tex
Pic: Oeko-Tex

At the start of the year, OEKO-TEX® updated their existing guidelines as well as the valid test criteria and limit values for their certifications and services – in line with consistent consumer protection and the sustainability of textiles and leather products. Following a transition period, all new regulations will come into effect on April 1, 2020.

After the introduction of the MADE IN GREEN label for textiles in 2015, beginning January 2020 it will also be possible to award the sustainability label to leather products. In 2019, STeP certification was expanded to include leather production facilities. OEKO-TEX® now goes one step further with the integration of leather products with the MADE IN GREEN label.

Leather articles labelled with MADE IN GREEN have been tested for harmful substances in accordance with the LEATHER STANDARD and have been produced in environmentally friendly facilities in socially acceptable workplaces in accordance with STeP. This ensures that consumers can also track leather goods such as clothing, shoes or furniture using a unique product ID or the specific QR code on the label to learn which countries and production facilities the article was produced in. To monitor compliance of the required criteria on site in the production facilities, OEKO-TEX® also conducts checks of production facilities with trained auditors. MADE IN GREEN has already been classified by Greenpeace as one of the most stringent labels on the market.

After one year of observation, the carcinogenic N-nitrosamines and N-nitrosables substances have been included in the STANDARD 100 and the LEATHER STANDARD. Following one year of observation, the herbicide glyphosate and its salts have also been included in the limit value catalogue for the STANDARD 100. Specific limit values for the total content of the toxic heavy metals arsenic and mercury have also been defined in the STANDARD 100 and LEATHER STANDARD. The stringent requirements for residues in textile materials will lead to an overall lower impact on the environment, workers and consumers.

In 2020, OEKO-TEX® will observe various new substances based on the latest scientific findings and conformity with precise specifications. This primarily concerns some substances newly classified as SVHC, which, according to the REACH regulation for the protection of human health and the environment, have been identified as having particularly hazardous characteristics, as well as substances from the group of arylamines. However, various dyes, pesticides and perfluorinated compounds will also be examined carefully in the future.

Safe handling of chemicals and wastewater testing in production facilities have long been important parts of STeP certification. To manage the increasingly complex demands in textile and leather production, beginning 01 April 2020, DETOX TO ZERO will be an obligatory element for STeP-certified facilities using large quantities of water and chemicals (wet plants). A positive aspect of the new regulation is the future conformity of STeP with the Manufacturing Restricted Substance List (MRSL), the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) (Initiative and the criteria for the Greenpeace Detox campaign.

With over 25 years of experience, OEKO-TEX® is the world leader in enabling consumers and business to protect our planet through responsible trading. OEKO-TEX® offers standardised solutions with which customers can optimise their production process and contribute to bringing high-quality and sustainable products onto the market. All of the services provided by the OEKO-TEX® portfolio serve to strengthen our customers’ systems, processes and products and, ultimately, to create more sustainable businesses. Currently, 14,000 manufacturers, brands and retailers in nearly 100 countries work with OEKO-TEX® to ensure that their products are tested for possible harmful chemicals.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (PC)

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