It is possible that when buying textile products or some that you already have at home, you have come across the OEKO-TEX® certified label. You can guess that it is a quality certificate, but do you know what guarantees its presence?

In this article we explain what the OEKO-TEX® certification is, what tests are done to grant it, what advantages it has for you as a consumer, what kinds of certificates of this type there are and what their validity is.

What is OEKO-TEX®?

OEKO-TEX® is an independent international association, which is responsible for granting a certification seal of quality valid worldwide and annually renewable, to the products of the textile and leather industry whose manufacturers request it, and provided that they comply with the requirements and pass the relevant tests.

OEKO-TEX logoAfter subjecting the products and their manufacturing phases (including raw materials) to inspections and tests, the OEKO-TEX® seal certifies that they meet all control standards to be sustainable and free of substances that are harmful to the health of people or environment.

OEKO-TEX® is currently made up of 18 institutes and is present in 85 countries. In Spain it is represented by AITEX, a member since 1992, and the only accredited institute in this country to grant its certifications.

Types of OEKO-TEX® certifications

Although the best known of the certificates of this independent association is the OEKO-TEX STANDARD 100, there are 6 types of Oeko-Tex certificates:

STANDARD 100: Applies to textiles and guarantees that they have been analyzed for more than 300 harmful substances.

MADE IN GREEN: Certifies that the entire textile and leather production process (from raw materials and manufacturing phases to the management of production sites) is environmentally and socially responsible.

LEATHER STANDARD: It is like Standard 100, but specific for leather products. It certifies that they do not contain substances harmful to health.

STeP: It is similar to Made in green, but divided into 6 modules: environmental performance, health and safety, social responsibility, environmental management, quality management and chemical product management.

ECO PASSPORT: Applies to chemical, textile or leather products to demonstrate that they are sustainable and safe for people and the environment.

DETOX TO ZERO: This certificate is aimed at finishing facilities and assesses, audits and reports on the quality of wastewater and sludge (in order to meet Greenpeace DETOX objectives).

OEKO-TEX® standard 100 certified

The OEKO-TEX® standard 100 Certificate began to be applied in 1992 and is the best known and most used of the seals of this association. It is an ecological label for textiles, which certifies the absence of substances harmful to health and the environment, basing its analyzes on scientifically based tests and test methods.

What advantage does the OEKO-TEX® standard 100 certificate have for me as a consumer?

Although textile products in Europe must be harmless to health, harmful substances or pollutants have been discovered in some. The presence of the certificate guarantees that all regulations are really complied with during its manufacture.

OEKO-TEX certified mattress fabric detailIn the tests for granting the OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certificate to a given product, all phases of its production process are reviewed, including the analysis of raw materials and accessories.

And, not only the harmful substances prohibited or regulated by law are taken into account, but also other parameters included preventively to avoid all kinds of possible harmful effects both on consumers and on the people involved in manufacturing and on the environment. .

When are the tests for the OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certificate carried out and what parameters are used?

The OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certificate system is modular, that is, the analyzed textile products can be tested and certified at any stage of the process, including, as we said before, raw materials and the manufacture of accessories.

Oeko-Tex Standard 100The strict catalog of measures applied during the evaluation process analyzes the products for the presence of more than 300 harmful substances, taking into account not only the general regulations and the indications of the European Regulation on Chemical Substances (REACH), but also other relevant substances for the environment and preventive parameters. In fact, the limit values ​​established by this certificate exceed, in many cases, the national and international requirements.

In addition, this list of criteria is reviewed and expanded every year and the products have to undergo the review with the same frequency to retain the seal.

OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certificate classes

A class number is usually found on the OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certificate label. This refers to the level of demand of the certification process, which is higher as the contact with the skin of the product intensifies and, therefore, they are classified into 4:

Class 1: Items for babies and children up to 3 years old (baby clothes, bedding, towels, hygiene products, etc.).

Class 2: Articles in direct contact with the skin (underwear, bedding, shirts, pants, etc.).

Class 3: Articles without direct contact with the skin (jackets, coats, etc.).

Class 4: Home textiles (curtains, tablecloths, furniture covers, etc.).

How can I know if an OEKO-TEX® certificate is valid?

All OEKO-TEX® certificates are valid for one year, which allows the product to be reassessed in the event that there has been a change in the process or that it contains a new substance that has been added to the list of harmful products.

If you want to verify that the certificate of the product you have purchased is valid, you can access the OEKO-TEX® checker and enter the label number.

Conclusions

The OEKO-TEX® certificate is a guarantee for us as consumers that the product complies with all control standards in the production processes, being less harmful to health and the environment and more sustainable.

In addition, for producers it is a way to offer security and transparency to the consumer, which positions them much better compared to the competition.