The International Oeko-Tex Association is taking account of its strategic change from a provider of human-ecological product safety to a global system solution for brands, retailers and manufacturers with a new brand architecture.
The focus will now be on the Oeko-Tex logo and the slogan “Confidence in Textiles,” which over the past 24 years has become known across the industry as an international symbol for effective consumer protection, responsible handling of chemicals and the use of environmentally friendly production technologies and compliance with fair working conditions.
From product certification in accordance with the Oeko-Tex Standard 100, first introduced in 1992, Oeko-Tex has, through the development and expansion of its portfolio, established itself as a full-service provider for independent certifications and services for greater sustainability along the textile supply chain.
“The theme of sustainability has represented increasing challenges for our customers from industry and trade for years and they are looking for suitable solutions,” said Georg Dieners, general secretary of the Zurich-based Oeko-Tex. “With our product portfolio we are able to provide wide-ranging assistance for this. We offer practical tools that they can use to successfully overcome the varied requirements at all operational levels. For our customers, it does not matter what the individual solutions are called. The important thing for them is that Oeko-Tex is a reliable and competent partner. Therefore, in our future communication, the umbrella brand Oeko-Tex and our slogan ‘Confidence in Textiles’ will be in the foreground. Our individual product modules, or rather the sufficiently known brands within the Oeko-Tex system, are arranged under the umbrella brand to strengthen this and meet the needs of our customers.”
These sub-brands include the MySTeP database, the Made in Green product label, the Eco Passport certification for textile chemicals and the Standard 100 and STeP certifications. The certification programs include 10,000 partner companies around the world.
In related news, Sciessent, a provider of antimicrobial and odor absorption solutions for the textile and apparel industries, on Wednesday became the first U.S. company to receive the Eco Passport by Oeko-Tex certification for sustainable textile chemicals for its Lava XL next generation self-regenerating odor control technology. In addition to being the first certificate recipient in the U.S., Sciessent was a critical participant in the six-month pilot test of the new Eco Passport program.
“Earning the Eco Passport certification is…incredibly important to us as we continue to build on our sustainability initiatives,” said Paul Ford, chief executive officer of Sciessent. “This program helps to create an impactful, industrywide standard for safety regulations that protect our consumers, our environment and our manufacturing partners through the use of more environmentally friendly materials.”
Also as part of these changes, the Oeko-Tex certification center in Frankfurt, Germany, will cease operations on June 30. Dieners explained that Germany is the only country within the Oeko-Tex Association in which the laboratory tests and the issue of Oeko-Tex certificates have been carried out by two separate institutions.
“Globally standardized processes and structures relating to the certification process as per the Standard 100 do not just simplify the work for us, they also simplify the work for our customers,” he said. “They will have a central contact person in the future with whom they can discuss all issues relating to the certification.”
As an official Oeko-Tex member institute in Germany, the Hohenstein Textile Testing Institute GmbH & Co. will take on the laboratory tests and the issuance of Standard 100 certificates.