With Summer wardrobe shopping on the horizon it’s important to arm yourself with the facts about ‘sustainable’ fabrics. Of course, the most sustainable option would be shopping second hand, but when you are on the hunt for that new eco-friendly white tee, a good certification to look out for is OEKO-TEX®.
What is OEKO-TEX?
OEKO-TEX® is the International Association for Research and Testing in the Field of Textile and Leather Ecology. A bit of a mouthful to say out loud but they are doing great things around the globe by undertaking testing and audits in order to verify that certain textiles are safe for both people and the planet! OEKO-TEX® enables consumers and companies to make responsible decisions which protect our planet for future generations.
What do they test?
They can test every kind of textile used throughout the fabric - from the threads to the finished fabrics and finished articles, including the buttons, zippers and linings. They even test the prints and coatings applied to the outer material.
One of the key certifications and the one you’re probably most familiar with is the STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®.
When a product carries the STANDARD 100 label, it means that every component, i.e. every thread, button and other accessories, has been tested for harmful substances and that the product therefore is harmless for human health and to a larger extent, the planet.
As consumers, it’s so important to care about making responsible decisions when shopping that put both people and planet first. And in an ideal world every fabric would adhere to OEKO-TEX® standards, but unfortunately the process of getting this certification is not cheap or quick. So do please remember that just because a fabric is not certified, it doesn't necessarily mean it's any less sustainable, or that it's manufactured under poor working conditions.