What is OEKO-TEX®?

What is OEKO-TEX®?

 

You may have seen an OEKO-TEX® label on products in your home, like bedding, towels, and clothing. But on the surface, it’s not entirely clear what this fancy-looking designation means.

In this post, we distill down everything you need to know about OEKO-TEX®, why it’s important for conscious consumerism, and what products in our collection have the certification (and how to check them!).

OEKO...what?

Founded in 1992, OEKO-TEX® is a global organization with a mission to create trust in textiles and leather and in their production. OEKO-TEX® does not manufacture products itself. Rather, through a network of 17 laboratories around the world, it independently verifies that products made by manufacturers and brands (like okko!) are free from harmful chemicals and safe from a human-ecological perspective.

What exactly is it certifying? 

OEKO-TEX® has six standards, each of which has a specific set of criteria against which a product is tested. These standards vary by type of material (e.g., leather versus textile) as well as scope (e.g., whether wastewater or the facilities themselves are tested too). All standards are global and therefore universally applied in all countries.

Standard 100, its first and most famous, checks that textiles are free from over 100 substances known to be harmful to human health. What’s great about this standard is that it goes beyond regulated chemicals and tests those that have yet to be limited legally. To carry the Standard 100 label, every single component of a product—including threads, linings, and fabric dye—must meet OEKO-TEX®’s requirements. Products made for babies or with skin contact (aka, undergarments) have the top two strictest criteria. 

Scroll down for more on what okko products are Standard 100 certified!

Why is it important?

An OEKO-TEX® certification signals trust. It is an independent third party so will not falsify results for the benefit of the companies it verifies. With sustainability at the forefront of purchasing decisions nowadays, this label proves a company’s claims—and cuts through any greenwashing. It also can help you avoid products that may have harsh or toxic substances.

For Standard 100, certifications must be renewed annually, which protects consumers in two ways. First, once a certification is up for renewal, a new set of samples must be sent in for testing, ensuring that products currently being sold are safe. Second, OEKO-TEX® updates its testing criteria at least once a year, so that it reflects the latest-and-greatest scientific knowledge and statutory requirements.

Is it the same as organic? 

Not necessarily. An OEKO-TEX®-certified product can be organic, but it does not have to be. An organic certification focuses on how raw materials for fabric are grown and harvested (the most common badge is from Global Organic Textile Standard, GOTS). On the other hand, OEKO-TEX® tests all the different parts of a product, including but not limited to its fabric, through various stages of production.

What okko products are OEKO-TEX® certified?

Given the very intimate nature of our bodywear, we hold our production practices to the highest standards—not only in terms of fit and quality but also safety. Our rule of thumb: if we wouldn’t personally wear a product for any reason, we won’t sell it.

As a small business, we do not (yet) own and operate our own manufacturing facilities. However, we do require that any factory or fabric mill making our products obtains all relevant certifications and keeps them up to date.

Our bra, underwear, bodysuits, and socks are OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certified. You can verify our manufacturing partners’ certifications yourself here! The label numbers are BEKO 062871 and HK020 159869.

Our nipple covers are made from silicone, which is not a textile and therefore cannot be certified by OEKO-TEX®. However, this product has met independent cosmetics safety testing in human trials as certified by another global organization, SGS.

 

Have more questions about OEKO-TEX® or our production standards? Drop us a note at hello@loveokko.co!

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