The international Oeko-Tex Association said in its annual report that despite the challenges of the global pandemic, it issued more than 31,000 certificates and labels in the past financial year, an increase of 31 percent compared to 2019-2020.
Made in Green by Oeko-Tex grew the most, doubling the number of labels. Oeko-Tex also moved forward with its new Carbon & Water Footprint Tool. The Made in Green label gives certainty of knowing that the product is made with materials that have been tested for harmful substances in environmentally friendly facilities and in safe and socially responsible workplaces.
Oeko-Tex certifies transparency along the textile and leather production chains and offers consumer protection and the guarantee of greater safety and confidence. More than 21,000 manufacturers, brands and retailers formally work with Oeko-Tex in more than 100 countries. The number of labels and certificates issued rose to 31,696 between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021, from 24,205 the previous year.
“Our mission remains unchanged,” said Georg Dieners, secretary general of Oeko-Tex. “The annual report reflects the growing importance of this topic across the industry.”
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the association supported the industry with waivers of 370 Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex certification fees on mouth and nose masks. Standard 100 signifies a product was tested for harmful substances and certified by Oeko-Teex.
Due to travel restrictions, the organization implemented guidelines for virtual audits to ensure a smooth and consistent certification process. In addition, more than 620,000 workers benefitted from employment in safe and socially responsible working conditions with environmentally friendly processes verified by STeP by Oeko-Tex certification.
Together with sustainability consulting group Quantis, the association has developed the Oeko-Tex Carbon & Water Footprint Tool to help the fashion industry reduce its CO2 emissions and water consumption. In 2021, the methodology was successfully certified by a neutral third party and implemented. The tool will be integrated into the STeP by Oeko-Tex certification in 2022.
The trust that the market bestows upon a certificate is of prime importance, the organization noted. That’s why Oeko-Tex continually takes action to implement a variety of quality assurance measures and incorporating external views.
In the area of trademark protection, Oeko-Tex has worked, since the beginning of 2021 with the brand protection software SENTRYC to act against trademark infringement. So far, over 2,600 misuse cases have been detected and resolved.
In addition to engaging with external multi-stakeholder initiatives, the first Oeko-Tex International Advisory Board (IAB) took place in April. The core function of the IAB is to provide advice on the further development of standards based on the Oeko-Tex Working Group proposals.