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WHAT DOES THE OEKO-TEX LABEL MEAN?

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

The Oeko-Tex label is a globally recognized certification for textiles and yarns that meet specific environmental and social standards. Here's an outline of what it represents and the conditions manufacturers must satisfy to obtain it.


What the OEKO-TEX label warrants:

  • Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex: This is the most widely known Oeko-Tex label, which certifies that the product has been tested for harmful substances. This includes illegal substances, legally regulated substances, known harmful (but not legally regulated) chemicals, and certain health parameters.

  • Strict Product Safety Requirements: To earn the Standard 100 certification, all product components must comply with the rigorous criteria, from the outer fabric to the sewing threads, inserts, prints, and non-textile accessories such as buttons or zippers.

  • Testing Based on Use: The more intensive the skin contact of a product and the more sensitive the skin, the stricter the human-ecological requirements must be complied with. Therefore yarn must achieve the highest standards that this label implies.

  • Regular Quality Checks: Oeko-Tex conducts unannounced product control tests each year to ensure continual compliance.

  • Transparency and Traceability: The product label provides a unique ID or QR code that consumers can use to verify the validity and contents of the certification.

However, it is important to keep also in mind what does NOT the Oeko-Tex label warrants. It doesn’t mean that products with this label do not fulfill successfully the following points, but it is not granted by this certification; so, if your deciding factor for choosing a yarn is carbon print or animal welfare, you need to do some extra research on the brand.


What the OEKO-TEX label doesn't warrant:

  • Animal Welfare: The Oeko-Tex Standard 100 does not assess animal welfare in its certification process. This means the standard doesn't consider how animals involved in the production process, such as sheep for wool, are treated.

  • Working Conditions: The certification doesn't directly address labor practices or the working conditions of those involved in the manufacturing process. However, Oeko-Tex has a separate certification known as STeP, which does assess these social factors. It focuses on sustainable and socially responsible production processes.

  • Environmental Impact of Farming Practices: The Oeko-Tex certification doesn't consider the ecological impact of agricultural practices in the growing of natural fibers. For example, the standard doesn't assess whether organic farming methods were used in cotton cultivation.

  • Product Life Cycle: The certification doesn't assess the full life cycle of a product, such as the environmental impact of its use, end-life disposal, or the product's recyclability.

  • Carbon Footprint: The Oeko-Tex certification doesn't calculate the carbon emissions associated with the production, transportation, or use of the product.

Remember, when you see the Oeko-Tex label on yarn or any textile product, it represents a commitment to environmental sustainability and a safe, socially responsible production process.

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