The OEKO-TEX® Association has released its annual updates to test criteria, limit values and requirements for its certification. All new regulations will come into force after the transition period on 1 April 2022. In addition, its new Impact Calculator is now available for STeP by OEKO-TEX® customers. The industry-specific tool will provide carbon and water footprint data essential to meeting climate goals. Later in 2022, OEKO-TEX® will also introduce a new certification for corporate due diligence: RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS by OEKO-TEX®.
Climate Change – the industry’s most urgent challenge
At the 2021 World Climate Conference in Glasgow, representatives of the textile industry presented a more ambitious version of the UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action. In the updated charter, more than 130 participating companies pledged their commitment to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius – a goal of the Paris Climate Agreement. In turn, the textile industry has set the target of reducing carbon emissions by minimum 30 percent by 2030. The carbon- and water-intensive manufacturing processes in the textile industry hold great potential for improvement but the large-scale challenge requires action beyond voluntary initiatives.
OEKO-TEX® supports action
To achieve the industry’s 2030 goal, companies need reliable data. To promote progress and data exchange along the global supply chain, OEKO-TEX® has launched the Impact Calculator. The tool measures the carbon and water footprint of each process step, the overall process and one kilogram of material/product.
“Transparency is the decisive factor to measure and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption in supply chains“ explains Secretary General Georg Dieners. “Providing tangible solutions for industry’s challenges is the guiding principle behind OEKO-TEX®’s 30 years of commitment to companies and consumers. OEKO-TEX® continues to develop scientific solutions and digital systems for our customers to manage processes in terms of environmental and social impact. Embedding criteria for CO2 emissions and water consumption is a logical step toward even more transparency.”
Lifecycle assessment solution
OEKO-TEX® recognized the need for action and started development of a life cycle assessment tool in 2020. Now, both carbon and water footprint calculations are integrated into the STeP by OEKO-TEX® facility certification. Thus, the certification enables individual facilities to:
– Identify the largest carbon and water impacts by materials used or produced, as well as by production processes.
– Take action to improve operations and meet reduction targets.
– Share carbon and water footprint data with customers, investors, business partners and other stakeholders.
The STeP certification is a pre-requisite for earning the MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX® product label. Implementation of footprint calculation data for consumer communication is planned for a future step toward transparency.
New certification for brands and retailers: RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS by OEKO-TEX®
In mid-2022, the association will introduce RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS by OEKO-TEX®, a new certification for brands and retailers committed to international agreements for human rights and environmental protection. OEKO-TEX® aims to support companies in fulfilling due diligence obligations within their own operations and their global supply chains. RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS by OEKO-TEX® was developed in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the relevant OECD Guidelines on Responsible Business Conduct.
MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX®
The traceable sustainability label for textiles and leather goods again recorded the strongest growth within the OEKO-TEX® portfolio. Compared to the previous year, the number of MADE IN GREEN label holders increased by 55 percent (as of 31/12/2021). While home textiles continue to occupy the top spot as the strongest category (bedding with an increase of 80 percent compared to the previous year), there is currently movement particularly in the apparel category. With a year-on-year increase of 156 percent, workwear and protective clothing recorded the biggest growth. This makes it clear how quickly demand for sustainably manufactured products is developing in all textile product areas.
New and updated limited values
OEKO-TEX® has added bisphenol B (BPB) in the STANDARD 100, LEATHER STANDARD and ECO PASSPORT by OEKO-TEX® certifications and to the STeP by OEKO-TEX® MRSL. The same applies to two additional colourants based on Michler’s ketone/base.
New substances under observation
In 2022, OEKO-TEX® will continue to monitor various substances based on the latest scientific findings and conformity with relevant specifications. This primarily concerns some process preservative agents and the bisphenols F, S and AF.
The 2022 new regulations are available in detail for all OEKO-TEX® products on the website www.oeko-tex.com/news
In addition, a webinar with detailed information on all OEKO-TEX® new regulations will be available to all interested parties on January 18, 2022 via the website https://www.oeko-tex.com/.
With nearly 30 years of experience, OEKO-TEX® is the world leader in enabling consumers and businesses to protect our planet through responsible action. OEKO-TEX® offers standardised solutions with which customers can optimise their production process and contribute to bringing high-quality, sustainable products to market. All services provided by the OEKO-TEX® portfolio serve to strengthen customers’ systems, processes and products and, ultimately, to create more sustainable companies. Currently, 21,000 manufacturers, brands and retailers in nearly 100 countries formally work with OEKO-TEX® to ensure that their products are tested for possible harmful chemicals. At the same time, millions of consumers around the globe use the OEKO-TEX® labels to inform their purchasing decisions. OEKO-TEX® certified products and suppliers can be found online in the OEKO-TEX® Buying Guide at www.oeko-tex.com/product. Follow OEKO-TEX® on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and WeChat.