Sustainable Textile Production (STeP)

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Sustainable Textile Production (STeP) by OEKO-TEX®

Every day, newspapers, television and radio journals all over the world are denouncing fraudulent practices in industrial food production, toxic substances in clothes and sportswear, inhumane working conditions…

People deserve the best !

It is time to counteract malpractices and to show in an unambiguous and unbiased manner that your products are manufactured in a sustainable non-polluting manner, that you offer quality and that you respect the working conditions in the entire textile value chain.

Therefore, the International Oeko-Tex® Association have created STeP: an independent certification system for environmentally friendly and socially responsible companies. The objective is to provide globally operating textile brands, retail companies and manufacturers along the textile value chain with trustworthy and transparent documentation of their sustainable production conditions.

STeP analyses and evaluates existing production conditions with respect to the use of environmentally friendly technologies and products, as well as of the working conditions and the plant’s impact on the environment.

Sustainable Textile Production (STeP) offers production facilities the possibility of 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 tool is specifically tailored to the situations in the individual processing stages of the textile and clothing industry, it can provide 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, such as Centexbel. The assessment in how far STeP certified companies are already working sustainably is made on the basis of a scoring system by means of a web-based process.

A widespread acceptance of the STeP certification depends on the inclusion of as many interested parties as possible, from brand manufacturers, production facilities, retail companies, to associations and NGOs. The required criteria for STeP certification are regularly verified and, if necessary, updated by the OEKO-TEX® Association, taking into account international legislation and standards as well as current market developments.

Unannounced audits at the certified companies are also part of the certification system. Already existing company certificates such as ISO 9000, ISO 14001, SA 8000 etc. are recognised for STeP certification and will be taken into account for evaluation of the individual modules.

With the new STeP certification the OEKO-TEX® Association supports other existing initiatives for implementing more sustainability such as the 'Higg Index' by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition or the 'Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC)' campaign.

With requirements specifically adapted to the situation in the textile industry, STeP currently offers the most comprehensive and reliable independent proof of sustainable conditions in textile production.

STeP Factsheet
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