When you're shopping for fabric, do you make sure that it is either organic, or Oeko-Tex certified? If you shop with us then the answer is most likely "yes, definitely!" If I see the Oeko-tex certification on the fabric I'm buying, I feel better about my purchase...but why? I know it's a good thing, but to be quite honest, thats about all I know!
At Simplifi, we work with many different fabric manufacturers and suppliers who offer Organic certification, Oeko-tex certification and GOTS, so I thought I would dive a little deeper in to what these certifications mean for you, our eco-conscious customer! I wanted to start with Oeko-tex certification because this is one we see everywhere! You may see Oeko-tex certification on more than just your fabric, it is awarded to any type of textile product, like clothing, mattresses, towels etc. For instance, you may see an Oeko-Tex label inside your Burton ski jacket, which means everything, from the zippers to the thread, to the printed logo, to the insulation needs to pass Oeko-tex standard testing.
There are many different certifications and standards set by Oeko-Tex or The International Association for Research and Testing in the Field of Textile and Leather Ecology, including standards for leather production (Leather Standard) and standards for eco-friendly and socially responsible manufacturing (STeP), but this post is going to cover the most common certification which is 100 Standard.
So what are these standards? They are put in place to make sure that the fabric or product has been tested for harmful substances. This includes substances that are regulated or non-regulated which means they go above and beyond national and international testing of harmful substances. The criteria that they follow is also updated at least once yearly with new scientific research and statutory requirements.
Oeko-tex certification starts with an application. Companies will pay a licensing fee to have their product certified and must undergo testing every year to keep their certification and allow them to use the label in their products.
The extent of the testing is also based on the intended use of the final product. There are 4 different product classes as follows, meaning that the level of testing for products intended for babies and infants may be more strict than the testing for items other than garments, like curtains.
- I – Items for babies and infants (up to 36 months of age)
- II – Items with direct prolonged or large-area skin contact
- III – Textiles without or with little skin contact
- IV – Furnishing materials for decorative purposes (curtains, table linen, carpets, etc.)
The audit consists of over 100 test parameters and includes testing for lead, nickel, harmful dyes and formaldehyde among other regulated and non-regulated substances, some that are of concern, but don't yet have any regulations in place. The testing also covers skin-friendly PH levels, colour-fastness and volatile chemicals.
Essentially, the 100 Standard Oeko-tex certification makes sure that your fabric, garment or decor item is safe for you and your family, with updates all the time. It is considered one of the most well known and internationally recognized testing standards for harmful chemicals.
For more information about Oeko-tex's other certifications, or to learn about the 100+ testing credentials or even how to apply to have your product certified you can visit the Oeko-tex website. On the website you can even check the validity of an Oeko-tex label by entering the label number in to their label checker to make sure it is legit!
Ok, so now I know why I feel better about buying 100 Standard Oeko-tex certified fabric, and I hope this has clarified some things for you as well. Are there any other certifications you would like me to explain or clarify? Let me know in the comments!
If you ever have more questions about the certification of your fabrics don't hesitate to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. We strive to be as transparent as possible when it comes to the fabric we carry. Are there any other certifications you would like me to clarify? We care about you, your family and the planet!
Thanks for stopping by! xo M