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
Eco- Textile Labelling Guide 201015 The Soil Association organic standard for textiles is another label which has adopted the GOTS criteria. It has a very high degree of consumer recognition in the UK market where 95% of its organic textile certificates are issued. The Soil Association is the UK's leading organic organisation and was founded in 1946. It is a registered charity and provides a certification and inspection service, which has a high degree of consumer recognition in the UK. According to the charity, The Soil Association symbol can be found on over 70% of Britain's organic produce, guaran-teeing that products have been made to the highest standards of organic integrity. Soil Association Certification Ltd ( SACL) enforces these standards through certification and regular inspections of producers, processors and suppliers. In terms of textiles and clothing, SACL has adopted the ever more popular Global Organic Textile Standard ( GOTS) criteria for textile certification and its standards conform to GOTS requirements including the latest revision of GOTS released in July 2008. SACL says it has issued approximately 60 of the 1000+ GOTS certifications currently in use globally. Around 95% of SACL textile certification is UK based but because it conforms to GOTS the SA organic stamp can also be issued on goods sold outside of Great Britain. Steps to certification The Soil Association says that its organic certification process is very straightforward with just three main stages to certification: 1. Application Firstly, manufacturers should submit an application with product specification and Soil Association Certification Ltd Organic certification At a glance: Scope of certification Soil Association Organic StandardYesNo Organic ? Genetic modification ? Water effluent ? Air emissions ? Energy consumption ? Worker safety ? Consumer safety ? Social criteria ? RSL/ Chemical residues ? Responsible water use ? For full technical specifications for Soil Association certification, see the Global Organic Textile Standard ( GOTS). Page 25.