The vision of Oeko-Tex, which was founded in March 1992 through a partnership between the Hohenstein Research Institute, Bönnigheim/Germany, and the Austrian Textile Research Institute (OETI), Vienna/Austria, is still reflected today in the organization’s core values: trust, safety and sustainability.
In 1992, 20 years before the United Nations announced the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Oeko-Tex launched Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex, now one of the best-known labels for product safety. It emerged from the Schadstoffgeprüft nach ÖTN 100 (tested for harmful substances according to ÖTN 100), developed by OETI in 1989 to address increasing public interest in textile ecology and health. The limit values and test methods on which Standard 100 is based were internationally standardized and are adapted to the latest scientific findings and legislation at least once a year - a principle that is applied to all Oeko-Tex standards.
At least 7 SDGs are firmly integrated in the product portfolio of the Oeko-Tex Association, Zurich/Switzerland. For example, Good Health & Well-Being (SDG 3) and Clean Water & Sanitation (SDG 6) are reflected in the STeP by Oeko-Tex factory certification, and Responsible Consumption & Production (SDG 12) and Climate Action (SDG 13) are implemented through the comprehensive Made In Green by Oeko-Tex product label.
»As a community, we have a comprehensive view of the industry and this is a great added value for brands, manufacturers, retailers and ultimately consumers, in view of the growing importance of sustainable action, worldwide.«
Prof. Stefan Mecheels, Director, Hohenstein Institute
The development of Oeko-Tex is not only a reflection of scientific knowledge, but also of social and political trends. The focus is always on standardizing sustainable action and measures and making it easier for industry to quickly and comprehensively implement sustainability goals. Today, the international association consists of 17 independent research and testing institutes focused on textile and leather, with contact offices in over 60 countries.
In addition to the Impact Calculator launched in January 2022, which helps STeP by Oeko-Tex certified production facilities reduce their carbon emissions and water consumption, in summer 2022, the association will launch a service to help companies transition to the upcoming Due Diligence Laws.