Two of Bangladesh's leading textile and clothing producers have been awarded the STeP by Oeko-Tex certificate for sustainable production.

Turag Garments & Hosiery Mills Ltd and Raiyan Knit Composite Ltd were awarded the certifications earlier this year. STeP, which stands for Sustainable Textile Production, gives manufacturers the opportunity to have each area of their facilities assessed by an independent body according to environmental and social criteria. 

Turag was established in 1998 on the outskirts of Dhaka as a small-scale business. It has since expanded to include facilities for knitting, dyeing, finishing, cutting, printing, embroidery and sewing. The company produces casual and sportswear with different patterns and sizes of knitted fabrics which are finished with different functions such as wicking, moisture management, anti-bacterial, and stain release. It also works with special yarns like Coolmax, polyester, micro-polyester, modal, bamboo cotton, polyamide Tactel, and Suplex.

Raiyan was established as Nur Knitwears Limited in 1994 and has since expanded to become one of the largest groups in the Bangladesh ready-made garment sector producing for the likes of Aldi, Auchan, C&A and H&M. The company produces around 1.5m garment pieces per month and operates in a state-of-the-art sustainable dyeing and manufacturing unit.

"We want to congratulate Turag Garments & Hosiery Mills Ltd and Raiyan Knit Composite Ltd on realising their vision of sustainable production and social responsibility in such an impressive manner," said Jörg Diekmann, director of international sales at the Hohenstein Institute, which presented the STeP certificates on behalf of Oeko-Tex. "In a tough and highly competitive market, it really is an outstanding achievement."

Oeko-Tex recently put new criteria into place for its STeP certification standard, designed to make the sustainability of production facilities throughout the textile supply chain visible using a transparent scoring system.

Oeko-Tex sets new STeP certification criteria

It also recently piloted its new Eco Passport testing programme, which verifies whether textile chemicals, auxiliaries and dyes can be used in sustainable textile production.

Oeko-Tex pilots Eco Passport chemicals certification