What is OEKO-TEX and Why is it Important?
OEKO what? If you are new to this term, no worries, we are here to educate you on this exciting standard of textile testing!
First, let’s address the obvious question. HOW do you pronounce this?
While it seems like you would sound out the first two vowels separately, like OH-EE-KO, it actually sounds like OH-KO. However, it can vary depending on what part of the world you are in so if you say OH-EH-KO or even OY-KO, it won’t be wrong!
Next, what does OEKO-TEX even mean?
The OEKO-TEX website shares, “In the test they take into account numerous regulated and non-regulated substances, which may be harmful to human health. In many cases the limit values for the STANDARD 100 go beyond national and international requirements. The criteria catalog is updated at least once a year and expanded with new scientific knowledge or statutory requirements.”
In other words, OEKO-TEX refers to textiles that have been scientifically tested through third-party certifications for the presence of harmful substances and are therefore a better and safer choice for your health. Third-party certifications are important because it helps to prevent greenwashing - misinformation that can be marketed towards conscious consumers to make them believe what they are purchasing is good for the planet. Not cool!
There are six certifications provided by OEKO-TEX. They include:
- Made in Green
- Standard 100
- Leather Standard
- Eco Passport
- Responsible Business
You will most often see the Standard 100 on labels when it comes to fabric such as clothing, bedding, and of course, the laminated cotton used in some of our REusable, food-safe products! Part of this certification provides a Label Check on the website which verifies that the certification is valid. Just enter the number or QR code found on the product. Splash Fabrics, the wonderful, Seattle-based company we get our laminated cotton from, provides code SE015 132342. We know for certain that it’s not only waterproof, lightweight, durable and heat resistant, but it specifically contains no PVC, BPA or lead phthalates (more on this in a future post!).
Why do we care?
Coast to Coast Sustainables cares A LOT about living a healthy, sustainable life. We cannot tell you what a joy it was to find a local business that offered a food-safe lining for our REusable products, one specifically safe to pack food in. These include our line of REusable Snack and Sandwich Bags, Sandwich Wraps, and Bowl Covers. Not only is this laminated cotton certified food-safe and toxin free, but is also biodegradable, aligning with our mission to provide sustainable products that are convenient for everyday life. Don’t worry, it won’t biodegrade while you use it over the years, only when it is cut off from the rest of the product and placed in compost, where it goes back to the earth in about six months!
Splash has this fabric tested in accordance with the FDA specifications for food safety in addition to an eco-friendly seal of approval from OEKO-TEX. Wow, that’s amazing to go above and beyond to get duly certified! I’m so thrilled we get to reap the benefits to make such high quality and amazing high standard products and then to bring it to our customers!More and more consumers, like yourself, are becoming increasingly aware of the toxins that can be present in commonly used products. The hope is that this standard of testing will continue to gain popularity, therefore providing an abundance of materials we can feel good about in our daily lives. Even Target now carries brands with OEKO-TEX certification! From clothing to curtains and furniture to food storage, knowing we are minimizing exposures to toxins can help us all sleep better at night.