Industry and the private sector in general are facing the greatest challenge of recent decades following the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has increased social concern for sustainability and the environment and consequently, demand for information and transparency from consumers.
OEKO-TEX® certifications have evolved over the past 30 years with the aim of simplifying customer decisions by offering consumers peace of mind in the knowledge that the production processes and techniques used in the manufacture of an article are transparent and environmentally friendly.
In the last year, there has been a 525% increase in the number of consumers demanding products with OEKO-TEX® certification, which has issued 24,205 certificates and labels guaranteeing that production processes and methods are approved by accredited bodies.
AITEX is one of 18 institutes worldwide accredited to issue this type of certification, and market demand is growing. Amongst these, the demand for MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX® and STeP by OEKO-TEX® certification has increased significantly in the last year, with the number of MADE IN GREEN® labels increasing by 115% compared to 2019
These accreditations, together with the other OEKO-TEX® certifications have been modified during 2020 by broadening and improving the requirements for awarding the certifications.
In conventional cotton cultivation, genetically modified (GMO) seeds are often used to make the plant more resistant to pesticides or insects. AITEX offers the STANDARD 100 certification, which incorporates a new method for testing GMOs in cotton to detect whether the raw cotton has been genetically modified.
In the case of the OEKO-TEX® LEATHER STANDARD, goods such as horse leather have been added to the approved list while others including rabbit fur, have been removed.
OEKO-TEX® STEP and OEKO-TEX® DETOX TO ZERO
In order to reduce water pollution and the use of chemicals that are harmful to health in textile production, the OEKO-TEX® STEP certification has this year incorporated the DETOX TO ZERO requirement.
Since April 2020, ECO PASSPORT by OEKO-TEX® has been one of the few certification bodies to offer all three levels of ZDHC (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals). Compliance with ZDHC Level 2 can be issued via the regular certification process and offers the possibility of carrying out a self-certification process with or without a site visit.
In order to assure consumers that the tests carried out by the accredited laboratories meet the strict OEKO-TEX® requirements, AITEX as an accredited body, complies annually with the intercomparison tests carried out by the Round Robin Tests programme.