What is Oeko-Tex Standard 100?
It's a widely recognized certification system for textile products that guarantees they are safe for human use. The International Association for Research and Testing in the Field of Textile Ecology (Oeko-Tex) manages the certification system, and it tests products for compliance with its strict guidelines.
How does a fabric get Oeko-Tex Standard 100 Certified?
To get Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification, a product must undergo rigorous testing by an independent Oeko-Tex authorized testing institute. The retailer submits a sample for testing, the certificate is issued, and random product testing is done to ensure continued compliance. Certification must be renewed annually.
What chemicals are banned by Oeko-Tex?
The certification sets limits on harmful substances such as formaldehyde, heavy metals, phthalates, chlorinated organic carriers, and azo dyes, among others. The Oeko-Tex Standard 100 also sets limits on formaldehyde releasers, pesticides, flame retardants, and allergenic dyes.
Are Oeko-Tex certified fabrics safe for people?
Yes, the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification is one of the most widely recognized and respected textile certifications globally, and it provides a high level of assurance that textile products are safe for human use. However, it doesn't guarantee that a product is entirely free from hazardous materials.
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Are Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified fabrics safe for the planet?
Yes, but indirectly. Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification primarily focuses on safety for human use and indirectly promotes environmentally friendly practices. It doesn't address all environmental concerns related to textile production or guarantee that a product was produced in an environmentally sustainable manner. However, it's a useful tool for ensuring that products meet safety guidelines and comply with relevant environmental regulations.
Oeko-Tex offers other certifications that focus specifically on environmental stewardship and social responsibility, such as Oeko-Tex Made in Green and Oeko-Tex SteP.
Should I buy fabrics that are Oeko-Tex Certified?
If safe and nontoxic fabrics are a top priority for you, then Oeko-Tex certified can provide assurance that they have been tested for harmful substances and are safe for human use. Additionally, if you are concerned about the environmental impact of textile production, Oeko-Tex certification means that a company is positively impacting the environment by not adding the banned toxic chemicals to it.
That said, if environmental protection is a greater priority to you, you can look for other certifications, such as Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), to assure the fabric meets your values and priorities.