The OEKO-TEX Association, an international textile and leather research and testing organization, releases its annual updates to test criteria, limit values, and requirements.
New OEKO-TEX regulations for 2022
At the 2021 World Climate Conference in Glasgow, representatives of the textile industry presented an ambitious version of the UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action. In the updated charter, more than 130 participating companies pledged their commitment to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees celsius — a goal of the Paris Climate Agreement. In turn, the textile industry has set the target of reducing carbon emissions by a minimum of 30% by 2030. The textile industry’s carbon- and water-intensive manufacturing processes hold great potential for improvement, but the large-scale challenge requires action beyond voluntary initiatives.
To achieve the industry’s 2030 goal and promote progress and data exchange along the global supply chain, OEKO-TEX launches the Impact Calculator. The tool measures each process step’s carbon and water footprint, the overall process, and one kilogram of material/product.
“Transparency is the decisive factor to measure and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption in supply chains, “explains Secretary General Georg Dieners. “Providing tangible solutions for (the) industry’s challenges is the guiding principle behind OEKO-TEX’s 30 years of commitment to companies and consumers. Embedding criteria for CO2 emissions and water consumption is a logical step toward even more transparency.”
Life cycle assessment solution
OEKO-TEX also started the development of a life cycle assessment tool in 2020. Now, both carbon and water footprint calculations are integrated into the STeP by OEKO-TEX facility certification. Thus, the certification enables individual facilities to:
- Identify the largest carbon and water impacts by materials used or produced, as well as by production processes
- Take action to improve operations and meet reduction targets
- Share carbon and water footprint data with customers, investors, business partners, and other stakeholders
The STeP certification is a prerequisite for earning the MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX product label. Implementation of footprint calculation data for consumer communication is planned for a future step.
RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS by OEKO-TEX
In mid-2022, the association will introduce RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS by OEKO-TEX, a new certification for brands and retailers committed to international human rights and environmental protection agreements. OEKO-TEX aims to support companies in fulfilling due diligence obligations within their own operations and global supply chains. RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS by OEKO-TEX was developed under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the relevant OECD Guidelines on Responsible Business Conduct.
MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX
The traceable sustainability label for textiles and leather goods recorded the strongest growth within the OEKO-TEX portfolio. Compared to the previous year, the number of MADE IN GREEN label holders increased by 55% (as of Dec. 31, 2021). While home textiles continue to occupy the top spot as the strongest category, there is currently movement, particularly in the apparel category. With a year-on-year increase of 156%, workwear and protective clothing recorded the biggest growth. This shows how quickly demand for sustainably manufactured products is developing across textile product areas.
New and updated limited values
OEKO-TEX has added bisphenol B (BPB) in the STANDARD 100, LEATHER STANDARD, and ECO PASSPORT by OEKO-TEX certifications and to the STeP by OEKO-TEX MRSL. The same applies to two additional colorants based on Michler’s ketone/base.
New substances under observation
In 2022, OEKO-TEX will continue monitoring various substances based on the latest scientific findings and conforming with relevant specifications. This primarily concerns some process preservative agents and the bisphenols F, S, and AF.
The new 2022 regulations are available in detail on the organization’s website.