A promotional image for State of Matter's guide to OEKO-TEX® Certification, with a hand-painted sign showing the Earth and the words "ONE WORLD" to signify sustainable textile practices.

Your Guide to the OEKO-TEX® Certification

Are you curious about the OEKO-TEX® certification and its implications for your everyday products? Here we'll dissect the essence of OEKO-TEX® certification and its importance to consumers and manufacturers.

This straightforward guide will provide the necessary knowledge, empowering you to make informed purchase decisions. So, let's explore and uncover the importance of OEKO-TEX® certification and its potential benefits for you.

What is OEKO-TEX® Certification?

OEKO-TEX® Certification is a vital set of third-party certifications aimed at meticulously scrutinizing products for potentially harmful chemicals that could pose risks to human health and the environment. Established in 1992, "The International Association for Research and Testing in the Field of Textile and Leather Ecology." It's important to note that OEKO-TEX® doesn't engage in the production of products itself; instead, it plays a pivotal role in verifying the products of other companies.

Today, the OEKO-TEX® certification network comprises a global presence with 18 independent institutes worldwide. Among its various certifications, the OEKO-TEX Standard 100 stands out as the most prevalent. This certification ensures that all components of textile products, right down to the buttons and zippers, are entirely devoid of 100 harmful chemicals that are commonly associated with adverse health effects and environmental harm.

To maintain the integrity of the certification process, products are sourced directly from retail outlets and subjected to rigorous testing by approved laboratories. Audits are also conducted periodically to ensure ongoing quality control.

The fundamental mission of OEKO-TEX® is to foster trust in textiles and leather by promoting product safety, sustainable production practices, and a transparent value-creation chain. They are the guardians of our well-being, ensuring that the products we bring into our lives adhere to stringent safety and ecological standards.

The significance of third-party certifications like OEKO-TEX® cannot be overstated in the current landscape. The association is a crucial bulwark against "greenwashing," a deceptive practice where companies make false or exaggerated environmental claims. OEKO-TEX® plays a vital role in verifying the authenticity of eco-friendly claims and safeguarding consumers and the environment.

What are the OEKO-TEX® Standards?

The OEKO-TEX® certification program encompasses six labels designed for materials or end products, each tailored to specific criteria. The different  labels testify to the program's commitment to ensuring textiles and related materials' safety and environmental responsibility.

To earn these certifications, rigorous testing is carried out by independent partner institutes, ensuring an unbiased evaluation process. Each of these certifications adheres to a unique set of criteria, carefully defined to meet the specific requirements and standards associated with the intended use and purpose of the materials or products. 

This diversity in certification labels underscores OEKO-TEX®'s versatility in catering to various industries and ensuring that different products, from clothing to home textiles, adhere to the highest safety and environmental standards. The "OEKO-TEX label" serves as a clear indicator that these materials or products have undergone thorough scrutiny and have been found to meet the stringent standards.


The STANDARD 100 is undoubtedly the most widely recognized and trusted OEKO-TEX® label within the certification program. This label serves as a hallmark of excellence, assuring consumers and manufacturers of the utmost product safety and environmental responsibility.

Products that bear the OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 certification have undergone exhaustive testing for harmful substances. This scrutiny extends to all product components, including seemingly minor elements like buttons, zippers, and linings. The testing process casts a broad net covering regulated and non-regulated substances, encompassing a staggering range of over 100 potential culprits, such as azo dyes, formaldehyde, heavy metals, pesticides, and PVC.

What sets this certification apart is its commitment to surpassing national and international requirements for limit values on these substances. The dedication required to going above and beyond ensures that products labeled with STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® are exceptional in terms of safety and environmental friendliness.

To maintain relevance and uphold ever-evolving standards, the criteria catalog that guides the testing is updated at least annually. Updates ensure that the certification keeps pace with the latest scientific knowledge and legal mandates, guaranteeing that products bearing this label remain at the forefront of safety.

To further enhance clarity and relevance, products are categorized into four classes based on their potential contact with the skin:

  1. Baby products (Class I)
  2. Products with direct skin contact (Class II)
  3. Products without direct skin contact (Class III)
  4. Decoration Material (Class IV)

Each class comes with specific chemical substance limits, with the most stringent standards applied to baby products, as protecting our most vulnerable consumers is paramount.

Beyond offering consumers the peace of mind to make informed and secure purchases, the STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® certification is a valuable tool for brands and manufacturers. It helps them stay updated on substance safety and environmental regulations, enabling them to continuously improve their product offerings, manufacturing process and demonstrate a commitment to sustainability and safety.


The LEATHER STANDARD by OEKO-TEX® is the specialized counterpart to the widely recognized STANDARD 100 certification, specifically focusing on leather products. This comprehensive certification extends its reach across the entire spectrum of leather production, from the initial raw materials to the final finished goods.

A wide array of leather items, including materials, clothing, and accessories, the LEATHER STANDARD by OEKO-TEX® ensures that every facet of these products is rigorously examined. Just like the STANDARD 100, this certification leaves no stone unturned. It encompasses testing for all components that make up a product, including buttons, prints, sewing thread, and zippers.

The LEATHER STANDARD by OEKO-TEX® is the trusted mark that leather enthusiasts and manufacturers can rely upon to confirm leather products' safety and environmental responsibility across their entire life cycle, from inception to completion.


MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX® is more than just a product label; it represents a commitment to sustainability and social responsibility that resonates with consumers and manufacturers. This traceable label assures consumers that products bearing it have been crafted using environmentally friendly processes and produced under socially responsible working conditions.

Going beyond the focus of the STANDARD 100 and LEATHER STANDARD, which primarily concentrate on product safety, MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX® sets a higher standard for sustainability. To earn this distinguished label, products must first meet the rigorous criteria of the STANDARD 100 and LEATHER STANDARD certifications. Additionally, the production facilities themselves must undergo certification by STeP by OEKO-TEX®.

MADE IN GREEN evaluates various environmental aspects of production, including the responsible use of chemicals and proper wastewater handling. Equally important, it considers the working conditions of the employees involved in the production process, ensuring fairness and ethical treatment.

What sets MADE IN GREEN apart is its transparency. Consumers can trace the entire supply chain journey of products bearing this label using a QR code or a unique product ID. This feature promotes trust and provides valuable insights into the item's country of origin and the manufacturer responsible for its creation.

As consumers increasingly prioritize sustainability and social responsibility, the holistic approach of the MADE IN GREEN label is gaining popularity. This label serves as a guiding light for conscious shoppers and a testament to manufacturers committed to a greener and more ethical future.

Step by OEKO-TEX®

Sustainable Textile & Leather Production (STeP) by OEKO-TEX® is a comprehensive and modular certification system that spans the entirety of the textile and leather production chain. STeP  goes above and beyond the scope of the STANDARD 100 and LEATHER STANDARD certifications, which primarily focus on product safety.

STeP certification encompasses six crucial modules that are pivotal to fostering sustainable practices:

  1. Chemical management
  2. Environmental performance
  3. Environmental management
  4. Social responsibility
  5. Quality management
  6. Health protection and safety at work

To participate in STeP, brands must legally commit to a Code of Conduct that encompasses these modules. The overarching goal is to promote environmentally friendly production processes, enhance health and safety standards, and establish socially responsible working conditions at production sites.

What sets STeP apart is its inclusivity. Manufacturers involved in all processing stages, ranging from the creation of fibers to the final finishing of textile production, must attain STeP certification. This ensures that sustainability and responsibility are woven into every facet of the textile and leather production chain, significantly impacting the industry's overall ecological and ethical footprint.


ECO PASSPORT by OEKO-TEX® is an autonomous and highly regarded certification system within the textile and leather industries, primarily focusing on evaluating chemicals used in these sectors. What makes this certification particularly rigorous is its meticulous scrutiny of every ingredient in a chemical product, ensuring that it undergoes comprehensive analysis and testing for potentially harmful substances.

OEKO-TEX® continuously updates the list of banned substances and permissible quantities to maintain the highest standards of safety and environmental responsibility. The continuous updates are informed by the latest scientific evidence and conform to evolving legal standards. ECO PASSPORT is a trusted assurance that the chemicals employed in textile and leather production meet the stringent criteria necessary for the well-being of consumers and the environment.


Inspired by the Greenpeace DETOX campaign initiated in 2011, OEKO-TEX® introduces DETOX TO ZERO as a potent tool designed to address and eradicate hazardous chemicals from textile and leather production processes. The core objective of this campaign is to usher in a new era where the textile industry operates with heightened environmental responsibility and safety standards.

DETOX TO ZERO, offered by OEKO-TEX®, provides textile and leather producers with a robust framework to thoroughly analyze and assess the use of hazardous substances within their operations. This tool places a strong emphasis on key areas, including ensuring wastewater and sludge conformity based on the DETOX TO ZERO Manufacturing Restricted Substance List (MRSL), confirming the compliance of chemicals used by the company with the DETOX TO ZERO MRSL, and establishing effective general management practices that prioritize chemicals and environmental performance.

It's essential to note that DETOX TO ZERO is not your traditional pass-or-fail certification. Instead, the primary focus is fostering ongoing improvement and sustainable change within production facilities. Comprehensive action plans are developed through rigorous analysis and assessment, charting a clear path toward a step-by-step reduction of harmful substances in the production process. In this way, DETOX TO ZERO plays a pivotal role in driving the textile and leather industry towards a safer, more environmentally conscious future.

How is OEKO-TEX® Different?

OEKO-TEX® sets itself apart through a multifaceted approach to certification that addresses diverse aspects of product safety, environmental impact, and social responsibility. While other certifications like the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and USDA Organic focus primarily on how products or their ingredients/materials are grown and harvested. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) ensures sustainable sourcing of wood, paper, and rubber-based products, OEKO-TEX® takes a more comprehensive view.

For instance, the STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® certification primarily hones in on the safety of end products. Meaning that rigorous testing for harmful substances in textiles and related materials. It's worth noting that some materials, like rayon, can't be certified as organic due to the chemicals used in their production. However, OEKO-TEX® steps in to certify them, as seen with TENCEL™ branded rayon textiles.

What further distinguishes OEKO-TEX® is its flexibility in accommodating multiple certifications for a single product. For instance, a product like Under the Canopy can proudly bear the MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX®, GOTS Organic, and FSC certifications, indicating comprehensive third-party verification across its entire lifecycle.

OEKO-TEX® maintains its reputation for credibility through a meticulous process that employs independent certification bodies. With 17 such institutes in Europe and Japan, lab tests and mandatory on-site visits are conducted to ensure adherence to standards. The certification process doesn't end with a stamp of approval; the STANDARD 100 certification requires annual renewal, and auditing institutes undergo a quality assurance audit every three years under the oversight of the OEKO-TEX® Secretary General.

Transparency is also a hallmark of OEKO-TEX®. The organization publishes an annual report with an impact calculator for organizational assessment, providing a clear overview of its activities and impact on the industry. Transparency checks and balances work together to maintain consistent and impartial standards, establishing OEKO-TEX® as a reputable leader in textile and leather certifications.

What Chemicals are Banned by OEKO-TEX®?

The OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 certification sets a robust framework for testing and regulating harmful substances in textiles and related materials. The OEKO-TEX criteria has a wide range of substances, including those covered by key legal regulations and other chemicals considered harmful, even if not currently regulated by law.

Among the substances under scrutiny are banned azo colorants, pentachlorophenol, and hazardous compounds like PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl) and PFCs (perfluorinated chemicals). Additionally, the certification addresses the presence of cadmium and lead, both of which are subject to strict legal restrictions.

OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100's criteria also encompass several substance categories with significant environmental relevance. To ensure a global perspective, the certification adheres to regulations such as REACH Annex XIV and XVII, which pertain to chemicals in the European Union, and the US CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act), particularly for lead. Furthermore, it maintains compliance with the EU POPs regulation (Persistent Organic Pollutants), which restricts the use of specific hazardous chemicals.

The certification covers all textile-related substances listed in the ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) SVHC (Substances of Very High Concern) candidate list. This comprehensive approach underscores OEKO-TEX®'s commitment to safeguarding consumers and the environment by regulating various potentially harmful chemicals in textiles and related products.

How Do I Check if a Product is OEKO-TEX® Certified?

To verify if a product is OEKO-TEX® certified, Oeko-Tex provides a straightforward process through its product label and online resources. OEKO-TEX offers an official Label Check Tool on their website to facilitate this verification process. With this tool, you can easily look up a specific OEKO-TEX® certified product by entering its unique certification number or scanning the QR code on the product label.

The Label Check Tool is a valuable resource to confirm the validity of the product's certification. It offers a simple means of certification verification and provides additional insights into the product's production process and supply chain. This transparency empowers consumers to make informed choices and trust in their purchases' safety and environmental responsibility, thanks to OEKO-TEX®'s commitment to providing accessible and reliable certification information.

Where can I shop for OEKO-TEX clothing?

If you're looking for OEKO-TEX® certified clothing and a range of sustainable products, State of Matter is a great place to start your shopping journey. State of Matter is dedicated to providing sustainably made clothing without compromising quality.

One of the standout features of State of Matter products is the careful selection of fabrics, which are at the heart of their sustainability efforts. State of Matter utilizes various sustainable fibers, including Renu® polyester. Renu® is an innovative fabric made from recycled garments and textiles. Eco-friendly polyester is derived from recycling old garments and textiles that would otherwise be discarded. Still, it's also double-certified by both Bluesign and OEKO-TEX®, assuring its high safety and sustainability standards.

State of Matter Apparel's mission revolves around pioneering stylish and sustainable solutions in menswear. So, if you're seeking OEKO-TEX® certified clothing that combines fashion with environmental responsibility, State of Matter Apparel is a fantastic destination to explore.