New requirements have been added to Oeko-Tex’s STeP certification for environmentally friendly and socially responsible production facilities.

The raft of new rules, added with effect from 1 April, include new limitations on chemicals present in the waste water of production sites, and also places fresh emphasis on the requirement of companies and employees to comply with ethically correct behaviour.

The new rules also specify that companies buying feathers and down for bedding and apparel must obtain them from suppliers not using practices such as live plucking or forced feeding.

With regard to child labour, companies must now provide evidence of compliance with the International Labour Organization’s Standard C182, Oeko-Tex added.

Banned chemicals and processes are now listed in Appendix D4 of the STeP Standard, and now include sandblasting for the treatment of jeans and other articles (unless a closed loop system is used); and the use of thickening agents based on aromatic hydrocarbons for textile printing.

Finally, the list of banned and regulated substances in the manufacture of textiles (the Manufacturing Restricted Substances List, or MRSL) has also been updated.