Despite the challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Swiss-based organization OEKO-TEX® reported positive business results. The association was able to issue a total of 24,205 certificates and labels in the past financial year, an increase of 13%. The focus was largely on the MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX® label, for which growth of 115% was recorded.
Since 1992, OEKO-TEX® has stood for transparency along the textile and leather production chains, consumer protection and the guarantee of greater safety and confidence for all those involved. The annual report of the international association shows how essential this topic is at present. Over 16,000 manufacturers, brands and retailers formally work with OEKO-TEX® in almost 100 countries. The number of labels and certificates issued rose from 21,454 to 24,205 between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020.
Certifications increasingly in demand
The MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX® label has recorded above-average growth. The label, which has also included leather articles since 1 January 2020, increased by 115% from 1,304 to the current 2,808 valid labels in the financial year 2019/2020. The numbers of other labels such as STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® and LEATHER STANDARD by OEKO-TEX® also continue to grow from a solid base year over year. STeP by OEKO-TEX®, the certification system for production facilities with environmentally friendly processes and safe and socially responsible working conditions, increased by 55% newly issued certificates, to 475 valid certificates worldwide. Over 470,000 people are currently employed in STeP-certified production facilities.
Together through the crisis
During the single biggest challenge, we have faced in recent decades, OEKO-TEX® has made every effort to continue with certification and avoid supply chain interruptions. Existing certificate renewals were temporarily processed without samples to give certificate owners three additional months to gather samples for testing. To provide people all over the world with mouth and nose masks that are safe from harmful substances, the OEKO-TEX® Association waived the license fee for certification of masks. Between April and June 2020, more than 50 manufacturers of face masks obtained certification according to STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®.
Expansion of the online presence
To create a uniform and clear message, the entire web presence was redesigned, optimized and successfully launched in August 2019. On the informative, user-friendly website, businesses and consumers will now find the more prominently placed Label Check, a tool for checking the validity of OEKO-TEX® labels. The improved myOEKO-TEX® customer management platform was launched for certificate applications and management.
OEKO-TEX® also significantly increased its communication on social media by adding WeChat in China and has also recorded growth in its other channels.