The basis for the certification is the new Leather Standard by Oeko-Tex that was launched during the annual meeting of the general managers of the Oeko-Tex institutes in Ostend, Belgium, in November.
Formed in 1992 and celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2017, the Oeko-Tex Association, in response to the latest developments in the textile, leather goods and footwear market, is adding the leather sector to its extensive testing and certification system that has focused so far on textile products and accessories materials.
“Ultimately, our greatest concern is ensuring consumer protection and environmentally friendly production throughout every area of textile and leather processing,” said Georg Dieners, general secretary and chief executive officer at Oeko-Tex.
Oeko-Tex will use the new Leather Standard product label to distinguish products that meet the strict requirements of the criteria catalogue. The test criteria and limit values in many cases go far beyond applicable national and international standards. The Leather Standard by Oeko-Tex contributes to a high and effective level of product safety and reliability from the consumer’s perspective and lets manufacturers of leather goods in all stages of production distinguish their products to show that they have been tested for harmful substances, providing a reliable decision-making tool for consumers who purchase leather products.
The Oeko-Tex Association has obtained the Research Institute of Leather and Plastic Sheeting in Freiberg, Germany, and the Test and Research Institute Pirmasens, which are acclaimed as specialists in the leather industry, as additional partners for leather goods testing. Together with six other Oeko-Tex institutes, the two new organizations will also carry out testing and certification for the new standard.
To date, 10,000 manufacturers, brands and retailers in almost 100 countries are working with Oeko-Tex, based in Zurich, Switzerland, to ensure that their products are tested for potentially harmful substances and millions of consumers around the world look for Oeko-Tex labels before making buying decisions.