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Eco- Textile Labelling Guide 2010 Voluntary organic standards Although these standards are optional, they MUSTmeet the criteria laid down by the obligatory standards set out in the previous section of this guide. In addition, if the goods are to be labelled and sold as organic textiles in these markets, they need to be certified through ISO 65/ IFOAM accredited certifiers ( pages: 42 - 54). Most of the organisations that run voluntary standards are private, not governmental set-ups and are often regional in their outlook. However, since the last edition of the guide there has been further progress towards greater harmonisation of the numerous voluntary organic standards. This shift has been to counter what some in the industry have described as ' label flood', which had the effect of confusing manufacturers and retailers about which organic standard to choose. In particular, the Global Organic Textile Standard ( GOTS) has made great strides. To date around 2600 facilities are now GOTS certified around the world - this has grown from around 1000 in 2008. This label focuses on compulsory criteria only and is due to be updated again in June 2010. Parts of the current version that may change include the restrictions on copper in dyestuffs, quaternary ammonium compounds and plastic buttons. The residue testing chapter is due to be revised and will be based on ISO test methods. In terms of fibre only standards, the Organic Exchange has not only tweaked its OE Blended standard, but it will also change its name as the organisation broadens its remit to look at eco- textiles in general. Its Blended Standard is " now only awarded when the ' cotton content is organically grown' and applies to goods that use no conventional cotton at all," according to Anne Gillespie of Organic Exchange ( see page: 29). For clothing retailers and brands it is vitally important that each company has a deep understanding of what is required and take all possible steps to ensure the integrity of their organic products. Basically the most important steps are making sure the fibre itself has been certified to the correct standard. Secondly, it is also imperative that the products are certified to the labelling requirements of the market where the products are being sold. Lastly it is important that to avoid brand damage, and potential legal action, brands can verify the claims they make about products they sell if consumer trust is to be maintained - and if the market for organic textiles is to continue growing. Optional organic standards In contrast to the obligatory organic standards mentioned on the previous pages, the various third- party standards in this section are for both ' fibre only' and the subsequent processing of organic fibres into yarn, knitted and woven fabrics. 13

Eco- Textile Labelling Guide 2010 14 Eco- textile standards Oeko- Tex is the most widely- used eco- label for textiles and is overseen by the International Association for Research and Testing in the Field of Textile Ecology ( Oeko- Tex) headquartered in Switzerland. There are three Oeko- Tex standards, 100, 1000 and 100 plus. The Oeko- Tex Standard 100, introduced in 1992, is a globally uniform testing and certification system for textile raw materials, intermediate products and end products at all stages of production. Textile products are certified according to Oeko- Tex Standard 100 only if all components meet the required criteria without exception. A tested textile product is allocated to one of the four Oeko- Tex product classes based on its intended use. The more intensively a product comes into contact with the skin, the stricter the human ecological requirements it must fulfil. About 90,000 Oeko- Tex Standard 100 certificates for specific textile products belonging to a particular product group have been issued so far. However the number of labelled products amounts to millions, since a certificate which is issued for a particular fabric quality may be used to manufacture countless items of clothing. More than 9,500 companies in over 90 countries world- wide are actively partici-pating in Oeko- Tex100 certification, including those from all stages of textile production, including manufacturers of non- textile accessories as well as suppliers of dyes and textile auxiliaries. The internationally binding test catalogue according to Oeko- Tex Standard 100 is based on scientifically proven parameters and is revised annually in line with the latest legislation and research. It includes: ? Substances which are prohibited by law, such as carcinogenic dyestuffs. ? Substances which are regulated by law, such as formaldehyde, softeners, heavy metals or pentachlorophenol. ? Substances which according to current knowledge are harmful to health, but which are not yet regulated or prohibited by law, such as pesticides, allergy - inducing dyestuffs or tin- organic compounds. ? Parameters such as colourfastness and a skin- friendly pH- value, which are precautionary measures to safeguard consumers heath. Latest update Since January 2010, Oeko- Tex laboratory tests include the following new criteria: ? Synthetic fibres, yarns, plastic parts etc. are tested for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon substances ( PAH) in all four Oeko- Tex product classes. An overall Oeko- Tex