OEKO-TEX 100 Standard for Textiles and Fabrics
The fashion industry is estimated to account for 25% of the world’s carbon budget by 2050. Sewing our own clothes is an antidote to the fast nature of fashion but we also need to ensure that the fabrics we purchase are not harming the environment.
The OEKO-TEX Standard 100, introduced over 25 years ago addresses this very issue by testing for 100 harmful substances in textiles, and the 100 listed substances include carcinogenic dyes in bedding or clothing items which we wear next to our skins.
The OEKO-TEX 100 standard is an independent certification scheme for manufactured items in domestic and household use including clothes, bedding, towels and soft toys. OEKO-TEX 100 tests for 100 harmful substances looking at every element of a garment and can certify yarns, fabrics, sewing threads, linings as well as buttons and zips. The testing and certification process extends beyond existing legal requirements, testing not only for substances already banned, but also for chemicals known to be unsafe, but not yet controlled by legislation.
WHY IS OEKO-TEX 100 IMPORTANT TO FABRICS GALORE?
Certification in the UK has been a lot slower than in the rest of Europe and there is a general lack of awareness. Although established in 1992, fabric labels have only recently started to appear. We would like to raise awareness as we believe it is important and we always clearly label our online fabrics where they meet the standard. We are searching out OEKO-TEX certified fabric suppliers wherever possible, just as we also seek out companies who are ethical in all aspects of their production processes. In all low-cost textile manufacturing countries there are good factories and bad factories. But the important thing is having that ongoing dialogue with your suppliers.