What does the “Confidence in Textiles” label — seen on clothing, linens, and gloves — mean? It means those products are manufactured by companies that have achieved Standard 100 certification by Oeko-Tex — companies who place a high priority on the health of their customers.
Introduced during 1992 by the Hohenstein Institute and OETI Institute for Ecology, Technology, and Innovation, the International Oeko-Tex Association regulates and enforces the Standard 100 certification system for raw, semi-finished, and finished textile products; products range from raw yarns and knitted fabrics to all types of clothing and bed linens. A collaboration between eighteen Japanese and European test institutes, Oeko-Tex establishes comprehensive measures, limit values, and scientific test methods for consumer product safety. Oeko-Tex test criteria and limit values surpass national and international standards.
A Brief Overview of Standard 100
The association’s strict guidelines and audit system apply to chemicals or other harmful substances that may come in contact with skin. Testing processes consider the intensity of contact between a product and skin as well as skin sensitivity. Specifically, Oeko-Tex’s Standard 100 examines fabrics and textiles for the presence of banned dyes that contain carcinogenic or allergenic amines, formaldehyde, preservatives that contain pentachlorophenol and tetrachlorophenol, heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium and nickel, pesticides, and other harmful chemicals.
Oeko-Tex Classifications and Certification
Standard 100 addresses contact with skin through four distinct classifications. Product Class I addresses underwear, clothing, bed linens, and terry cloth products used for babies and toddlers; Product Class II covers other clothing worn close to the skin, such as underwear and socks; Product class III covers clothing worn away from the skin, including jackets and coats; and curtains, tablecloths, and upholstery fall under Product Class IV.
However, Oeko-Tex certification doesn’t stop with the fabric or textile itself. Certified products in any of the four classes must meet criteria for the outer fabric, threads, inserts, buttons, zippers, rivets, and prints. To date, Oeko-Tex has issued 51,000 certificates for millions of products, and more than 6,500 companies apply the Oeko-Tex label to their merchandise.
Updates to Standard 100 also cover new legal regulations for chemicals, including compliance with the European Union regulations defined under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) as well as the requirements of the United States Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which covers lead in products. The Oeko-Tex Association conducts audits at every stage of the clothing and textile production process.
Standard 100 and Armor Guys Gloves
The materials used for the manufacture of our gloves align with Standard 100 requirements pertaining to Product Class II. Given the intensity of skin contact when wearing gloves, glove manufacturers must follow strict guidelines for testing and certification in order to comply. Armor Guys produces Oeko-Tex certified gloves that comply with the requirements of standard EN 420:2003 and A1:2009 as well as European REACH regulations. The Oeko-Tex “Confidence in Textiles” label on our gloves tells customers that we take their health and safety seriously in addition to manufacturing high-quality gloves.