The International OEKO-TEX® Association’s Dr. Sam Moore, who represents OEKO-TEX in North America, will present a webinar introducing the new STeP certification system for sustainable textile production facilities on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013, at 2:00 PM EST. The webinar is complimentary, and participants may register online in advance. Because of OEKO-TEX’s Elite Sponsor status and the apparel industry’s high level of interest in textile sustainability, the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) will promote this online seminar to its membership.
The new STeP certification is a comprehensive, holistic system that evaluates and scores a textile production facility’s sustainability performance in six key areas: quality management, environmental management, social responsibility, safety, environmental performance, and chemicals management. The certification is constructed specifically for textile production facilities of all types, and provides objective standards to transparently benchmark factories against prior performance, against other factories operating in the same manufacturing sector, and against the global textile supply chain as a whole
The certification process for production facilities involves an initial internal self-analysis followed by consultative audits by local OEKO-TEX personnel, who work with clients onsite to verify, improve, and leverage their sustainable practices. OEKO-TEX recognizes other third-party certifications such as ISO 9001, ISO 14000, WRAP, and SA 8000 and gives applicants credit for the sustainability factors those systems validate. The STeP standards are global in scope and updated at least annually to reflect changes in legislation, growing knowledge of human health factors and evolving social standards.
The new facility certification complements OEKO-TEX’s well-known global textile product safety certification, the OEKO-TEX Standard 100, which ensures textile products are tested for chemicals which are believed to be harmful to human health. OEKO-TEX tests for more than 300 substances such as heavy metals, carcinogenic dye stuffs, pesticides, and formaldehyde. The certification is independent and voluntary. Certified products are listed in OEKO-TEX’s online Buyer’s Guide.
Dr. Moore will also present the STeP process at the IFAI Specialty Fabrics Expo and Advanced Textiles Conference & Trade Show in Orlando, on Oct. 23.
Register online for the OEKO-TEX STeP introduction webinar at 2:00 PM EST on Tuesday, September 17.