STEP BY OEKO-TEX® FOR LEATHER PRODUCERS – CERTIFICATION FOR THE PRODUCTION OF SUSTAINABLE LEATHER

by Neus Jorda
STEP BY OEKO-TEX® FOR LEATHER PRODUCERS – CERTIFICATION FOR THE PRODUCTION OF SUSTAINABLE LEATHER

LABORATORIES & INNOVATION

16th of September 2019

step-oekotext

With over 25 years’ experience, OEKO-TEX® leads the world in certifying manufacturers and products and educating consumers to protect our planet through responsible decisions. OEKO-TEX® provides standardised solutions that optimise manufacturing processes and offer high quality and more sustainable products. All products in the OEKO-TEX® portfolio reinforce customer systems, processes and products and, ultimately, help create more sustainable businesses. To date, 10,000 manufacturers, brands and retailers in almost 100 countries are working with OEKOTEX® to ensure that their products have been screened for potentially harmful substances, and millions of consumers worldwide look for OEKOTEX® labels before making their purchasing decisions.

LEATHER STANDARD by OEKO-TEX®

In 2017, OEKO-TEX® launched the LEATHER STANDARD by OEKO-TEX®. The Standard is a worldwide testing and certification system for leather and leather goods at all production levels, and includes crust, finished leather, leather clothes, leather gloves, belts, bags and accessories.
The certification is part of the OEKO-TEX® Association’s products and services portfolio. The most frequent and worrying substances found in leather goods are arylamines, chromium (VI), formaldehyde, pentachlorophenol and cadmium, all of which can be detected and controlled by LEATHER STANDARD by OEKO-TEX®.

Like STANDARD 100 by OEKOTEX®, the certification is valid for a year, can be extended if the applicant so requests and distinguishes between four kinds of products. The longer a product is in contact with the skin and the more sensitive the skin, the stricter the limits that must be met.
• Product class I: Products for babies and children up to 3 years of age (leather garments, leather gloves, etc.)
• Product class II: Products in direct contact with the skin (leather trousers and jackets, leather underwear, etc.)
• Product class III: Products without direct skin contact (lined leather jackets / coats, leather bags, leather belts, etc.)
• Product class IV: Decoration and furniture materials (leather upholstery covers, etc.)

STeP by OEKO-TEX® for leather manufacturers

Today’s consumers demand not only high quality leather and leather textile products, but increasingly require that these products are safe for health, respect the environment and are manufactured using socially responsible production methods. Therefore, OEKO-TEX® has extended the STeP by OEKO-TEX® certificate for leather producers, which certifies that the production of leather is completely sustainable.
The objective of the certification system is that the production processes remain environmentally friendly and promote the improvement of the health and safety of consumers, and the socially responsible working conditions of companies throughout the supply chain. The STeP by OEKO-TEX® certification criteria are regularly updated to certified companies, thus there is a continuous improvement in environmental aspects and social responsibility, which strengthens the economic situation and competitiveness of certified companies.
Requirements and evaluation criteria for the Certificate
STeP by OEKO-TEX® certification requires conformity with the following modules:
STeP by OEKO-TEX® evaluates the conformity of the entire production chain.

TEXTILE MANUFACTURE

• Dry and wet spinning, twisting and processes related to fabrics

• Wovens, non-wovens, non-woven production processes and related processes
• Pre-treatments, dyeing, printing, finishing and processing
• Making up textile articles
• Accessory manufacture (zips, buttons, labels)
• Foam and mattress manufacture
• Textile logistics
• Others (e.g. fibre production)

LEATHER AND HIDE PRODUCTION

• Beamhouse • Leather finishing • Retannage, tanning and greasing • Leather and hide logistics

Steps to obtaining certification
In order to obtain the STeP by OEKO-TEX® the following stages must be passed:

1. REQUEST CERTIFICATION. Complete the application form on the OEKO-TEX® website.
2. ONLINE EVALUATION TOOL. Fill in the online form
3. ANALYSIS AND EVALUATION. Evaluation by the OEKO-TEX® STeP auditing team
4. COMPANY AUDIT. The OEKO-TEX® STeP auditor will verify the data submitted on the evaluation tool.
5. EVALUATION. Corrective actions and OEKO-TEX® STeP auditor support
6. CERTIFICATION AND FINAL REPORT. OEKO-TEX® prepares a detailed final report

STeP by OEKO-TEX® allows a manufacturer to look at their manufacturing conditions in depth along the entire value chain from the viewpoint of sustainability.

The advantages of STeP by OEKO-TEX®

Brands and retailers.
STeP allows companies to search for suppliers worldwide that meet responsibility, environmental and social protection requirements. This means that the entire supply chain has a clear and deep-seated commitment to the STeP values offering clear advantages to the end user.

Textile, leather and hide manufacturers.
The advantages it offers to manufacturers is that it significantly increases the efficiency of their production processes. The certification system helps them position themselves in terms of sustainability and social responsibility while in addition, identifying areas where improvements can be made.
STeP by OEKO-TEX® for leather producers is an independent certification that certifies that the production conditions are sustainable, and contributes to improving corporate image, which in turn allows the company to develop new markets and suppliers.
If you are interested in applying for any type of OEKO-TEX® certificate, contact AITEX, an OEKO-TEX® member Institute.

For more information: www.aitex.es/certificaciones

Si está interesado en solicitar cualquier tipo de certificado OEKO-TEX®, puede contactar con AITEX, Instituto miembro de OEKO-TEX®.
Más información en: www.aitex.es/certificaciones

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