The Oeko-Tex Eco Passport certificate.

The Oeko-Tex Association said it has completed a six-month pilot phase with manufacturers and is fully introducing its Eco Passport by Oeko-Tex certification for sustainable textile chemicals.

The organization said results of the trial were positive and the first certified textile chemical producers have already accessed the key benefits of the new Eco Passport concept.

Eco Passport by Oeko-Tex offers textile chemical manufacturers a confidential and independent method to reassure their customers that chemicals, colorants and auxiliaries are in line with the industry’s sustainability requirements and initiatives.

Eco Passport is a two-step verification procedure by which manufacturers of textile processing chemicals and chemical compounds are able to confirm that their products meet the criteria for environmentally responsible textile production. Based on customer and market feedback during the six-month pilot test phase, Oeko-Tex modified the original concept to improve functionality. The workflow between applicants, testing institutes and the Oeko-Tex Secretariat was refined and the certification and lab testing procedures were optimized.

Textile chemicals, colorants and auxiliaries are analyzed in a process that confirms that the compounds and each ingredient meet specific criteria for sustainability, safety and regulatory compliance. In the initial analysis, chemical compounds are checked against a comprehensive Manufacturing Restricted Substance List that incorporates the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 RSL and the STeP by Oeko-Tex MRSL, both of which are compliant with REACH and Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals guidelines.

The textile chemicals, colorants and auxiliaries are then analyzed within a well-reasoned laboratory testing framework to ensure that they do not contain any unsafe contaminants. Compounds that pass these two phases are granted the Eco Passport by Oeko-Tex certification, which indicates that the certified textile chemical is safe to use in Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified textile products and in STeP by Oeko-Tex certified manufacturing facilities.

The Oeko-Tex Association, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, was founded in 1992 by the Austrian Textile Research Institute OETI and the German Hohenstein Research Institute. Its membership includes 16 independent textile research and testing institutes with their representative offices in 60 countries worldwide. To date, more than 150,000 Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certificates have been issued — about 14,000 issued annually — and 10,000 manufacturers, brands and retailers in 98 countries are working with Oeko-Tex to ensure that their products are tested for potentially harmful substances.