Oeko-Tex, the Zurich-based organization that offers textile certifications for safe and sustainable materials and manufacturing, will launch Eco Passport by Oeko-Tex this spring.

Eco Passport is a mechanism for textile chemical suppliers to demonstrate that their products can be used in sustainable textile production.

George Dieners, general secretary of the Oeko-Tex organization, on a visit to New York explained that the program offers three distinct stages — a Restricted Substance List screening, hazard and risk assessment for individual ingredients within the chemical, and analytical verification performed in an Oeko-Tex facility.

Products passing the requirements of all three processes earn the Eco Passport by Oeko-Tex certification and will be entered into the Oeko-Tex buying guide, which is the organization’s central sourcing platform of pre-certified articles and materials.

Any textile chemical manufacturer can apply for the Eco Passport certification. Eco Passport is applicable for chemical products including dyes, auxiliaries and base chemicals, as well as their preparations used in the textile, apparel and related industries.

Each issued Eco Passport certificate has an individual certificate number that link with the specific scope and validity of the products covered and can be verified by entering the certificate number into the program Web site, oeko-tex.com/passport.

The costs for an Eco Passport certification depend on the amount of chemical products and their specific grouping. The test criteria and the testing scope are based on a comprehensive risk-management approach and built on the chemical data assessment. The RSL screening and assessment as well as the right to label Eco Passport products are covered with the certification fee.

The Eco Passport certificate communicates that textile chemicals do not contain any ingredients included on the industry leading Restricted Substance List or Manufacturing Restricted Substance List, most notably the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 and STeP by Oeko-Tex MRSL, as well as the SVHC list of REACH, the European Union’s standards and regulations for the production and use of chemical substances, and their potential impacts on human health and the environment.

The assessment of both hazards and risks at the ingredient level also helps certificate holders make greener ingredient choices to improve their chemical offerings. The analytical verification of the textile chemical product ensures that unintended byproducts or contaminants are not present in the chemical product. This enables Eco Passport certified chemicals to be approved for use in Oeko-Tex Standard 100 and STeP by Oeko-Tex production.

The Eco Passport system is for textile chemicals only, Oeko-Tex Standard 100 is for textiles and textile accessories and STeP by Oeko-Tex is for textile manufacturers.

“There is a great deal of similarity within the Oeko-Tex system because the focus is on protecting the consumer, the worker and the environment from negative impact of chemicals that are used in the textile industry,” Dieners said. “The chemicals and limits included in Eco Passport address all chemicals that may be used in textile production, not just those remaining on a finished textile.”

He noted that the limit values of chemicals included in the Eco Passport certification will be higher than the finished product values of the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification because not all chemicals used in textile processing remain on the product.

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