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Oeko-Tex Introduces Eco Passport Certification for Sustainable Textile Chemicals

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Swiss certification system Oeko-Tex on Friday announced the addition of a new program to its portfolio of sustainable textile standards.

Currently in pilot mode and slated for an early summer launch, Eco Passport by Oeko-Tex is a verification procedure by which manufacturers of textile processing chemicals and chemical compounds (read: dyes, performance additives, finishing agents, lubricants and detergents) are able to confirm that their products can be used in sustainable textile production.

The Zurich-based organization said that the results from each stage of the three-step evaluation process will be shared with applicants who can then use the data to confirm internal quality control and occupational safety guidelines, as well as reformulate if necessary to create safer, more sustainable formulations.

• First, manufacturers confidentially and securely disclose the chemical substances in their formulas which are compared via CAS number (chemical abstracts service) against the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 Restricted Substance List (RSL) and the STeP by Oeko-Tex Manufacturing RSL. These lists are compliant with the guidelines of both REACH, the European Union’s chemical industry regulations, and ZDHC, the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals program.

• Then, each ingredient is evaluated against 22 health and environmental criteria.

• Thirdly, an analytical verification is performed to confirm that the chemical product does not contain unintended by-products or contaminants and meets the criteria for certification.

Only a product that’s passed all three phases can be granted the Eco Passport, which indicates that it’s safe to use in Oeko-Tex Standard 100 goods and in STeP-certified facilities and helps protect consumers, textile industry workers and the environment from the negative impact of potentially harmful substances.

According to Oeko-Tex, the addition of Eco Passport to its portfolio “promotes comprehensive stewardship of textile products and processes throughout the supply chain.”

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