Textile testing and certification body The International Oeko-Tex Association is set to introduce an independent certification for environmentally friendly and socially responsible businesses.

The aim of Sustainable Textile Production (STeP) by Oeko-Tex is to provide textile brands, retailers and manufacturers with “trustworthy and transparent” documentation of sustainable production.

The certification will be presented for the first time at the Prime Source Forum in Hong Kong on 26 March, replacing the current Oeko-Tex Standard 1000, with a launch planned for 12 June.

“The heart of the new STeP certification is the modular analysis of all relevant company areas such as quality management, use of chemicals, environmental protection, environmental management, social responsibility, and health and safety,” said Pierre Haug, Oeko-Tex secretary general.

Production facilities will be audited by one of the Oeko-Tex institutes, including unannounced visits, and already existing certifications such as ISO 9000 and ISO 14001 will be taken into account.