Trademark: OEKO-TEX Standard 100
What is OEKO-TEX Standard 100? OEKO-TEX has a number of labels, of which OEKO-TEX Standard 100 is the most widely used. OEKO-TEX Standard 100 is a health mark for textiles and is tested for substances that may be harmful to health and may cause allergic reactions, for example. This certification is always used for the final product and thus indicates that the final product is free of hazardous materials. In this way, OEKO-TEX indirectly sets requirements for the use of environmentally harmful substances, such as heavy metals, harmful dyes and plant protection products.
The OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certification looks at every part of the garment. Yarn, zippers, buttons and linings are all tested for harmful substances, but prints and coatings must also meet the right criteria. OEKO-TEX also has other labels that all certify to a more sustainable end product, including the LEATHER STANDARD and ECO PASSPORT. The latter focuses entirely on certifying chemicals and dyes.
Sustainable end product
It is often not easy for clothing factories to have an overview of all legally harmful substances. OEKO-TEX helps clothing factories and clothing brands with this. The OEKO-TEX certification is done on the basis of a number of criteria. Products are extensively tested for harmful substances in which the current legal provisions play an important role. In many cases the limits for these tests go beyond national or international requirements. The tests are carried out by independent third parties who test according to the OEKO-TEX criteria, so that the results are as reliable as possible. The main criteria in the OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certification are:
- The test catalog includes regulations regarding banned azo dyes, formaldehyde, nickel etc.
- Chemicals that are harmful to health are also tested if they are not yet legally regulated.
- The annexes XVII and XIV of the REACH directives (REACH is a European Union system dealing with the production and trade of chemical substances) and the ECHA-SVHC candidate list are covered by the requirements of the test method.
- OEKO-TEX takes into account the intended use of textiles. The more intensive the skin contract of a textile product, the more stringent the limit values per product class.
The last point mentions that within the OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certification, different product classes are considered. The closer a product is worn to the skin, the stricter the rules.
- Product class 1: these products are for babies and have the strictest requirements
- Product class 2: these products have direct contact with the skin. This includes items such as underwear and tops.
- Product class 3: these products do not have direct skin contact. This includes articles such as jackets, vests and accessories.
- Product class 4: these products fall into the category of household textiles and decorative materials.
Each garment that is OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified has a label with a certification number. This number can be entered on the OEKO-TEX website to check whether this certification is still valid. Unfortunately, when it appears that there are still areas for improvement at a clothing brand, this certification does not encourage improvement.
OEKO-TEX carries out a periodic audit to check if clothing brands still meet the requirements. These checks are carried out by a third independent party. Through this check, OEKO-TEX can guarantee that brands that carry their logo really comply with the requirements. This helps us as consumers make a more conscious choice for sustainable fashion. At Take It Slow, the Girlfriend Collective, Jan 'n June and Maium brands are certified with an OEKO-TEX Standard 100 label.