OEKO-TEX® honours sustainable textile production

Presentation of the Sustainability Award on 12 June in Frankfurt a. M. Official launch of the new STeP certification

To honour the achievements of OEKO-TEX® certified companies who have shown special commitment to the issue of sustainability, the OEKO-TEX® Association will be presenting the Sustainability Award for the first time on 12 June 2013 during an evening event in Frankfurt a. M. The award presentation will also mark the official start of the new OEKO-TEX® certification called ‘Sustainable Textile Production (STeP)’ which will replace the current OEKO-TEX® Standard 1000.

The Sustainability Award, which is not endowed with any prize money, was started up last year on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of OEKO-TEX® and will be presented in the five categories environmental management, quality management, social responsibility, safety management and product innovation. From the company applications received in the period between March 2012 and March 2013, OEKO-TEX® initially selected two ’Companies of the Month’ each month – one company certified according to OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 and one certified according to OEKO-TEX® Standard 1000. From the circle of these ‘Companies of the Month’, three companies were nominated for the Sustainability Award in each category. A jury with seven representatives of the OEKO-TEX® Association, NGOs, industry and research as well as associations and the trade press select the winners of the award in the individual categories.

The nominated companies include, AG Cilander (Switzerland), Tejidos Royo (Spain) and  Sun Hing Industries Holding Ltd (China) in the Environmental Management category; eterna Mode GmbH (Germany), Triumph International AG (Switzerland) and YKK (Japan) in the Quality Management category; Mattes & Ammann GmbH & Co. KG and C&A (Germany) and Gildan Activewear (Canada) in the Social Responsibility field; Guangdong Esquel Textiles Co. Ltd. and Sunvim Group Co. Ltd. (China) with Veramtex Marly S.A. (Belgium) in the Security Management category and finally Lenzing AG (Austria), Odlo International AG (Switzerland) and Gebrüder Otto Baumwollfeinzwirnerei GmbH & Co. KG (Germany) in Product Innovation category.

The awards will be presented to the representatives of the companies attending the evening event. In his talk ‘People, planet, profits – How good brands will profit threefold in future’, keynote speaker Achim Feige will address the question of how companies can increase their market success through sustainable, integrated management and which requirements they have to meet for this. The host for the event will be Ingolf Baur, a popular and well-versed presenter of different TV shows and events from the field of science.

The presentation of the Sustainability Award to five outstanding companies, who are representative of the over 9,500 OEKO-TEX® certified companies worldwide and their proactive work, is also the platform for a world premiere – the official market introduction of the new OEKO-TEX® certification system for environmentally friendly and socially responsible production facilities in the textile chain.

The new tool with the name ‘Sustainable Textile Production (STeP)’ offers global brands, retail businesses and manufacturers a modular analysis of all relevant company areas such as quality management, use of chemicals, environmental protection, environmental management, social responsibility and health and safety.

As the certification is specifically tailored to the situation in the individual processing stages of the textile and clothing industry and easily integrates already existing company certificates such as ISO 9000, ISO 14001, SA 8000, OHSAS 18001 etc., it provides interested companies with targeted support for continuous improvement of their production conditions. Precondition for certification is the successful auditing of the production facilities through one of the OEKO-TEX® institutes. The assessment in how far STeP certified companies are already working sustainably is a web-based process on the basis of a scoring system.

The STeP certification offers companies in the textile industry a modern, dynamic and transparent way of clearly documenting their sustainable commitment to the public. The scoring system makes it particularly clear where certified companies still have further development potential with regard to more sustainability and makes successfully implemented measures visible to everyone.