E-News subscription
Product Enquiry
TESTEX – Tracing Harmful Substances to Reassure Leather Buyers of a Safe, Sustainable and Environmentally Friendly Purchase
Richard Smith | 22 February 2019

TESTEX is a globally operating and independent Swiss testing and certification company. As a member of the OEKO-TEX® Association, it focuses on testing textiles and leather for harmful substances and implementing greater sustainability and product responsibility along the global textile value chain.

In addition to its headquarters in Zurich (Switzerland), the TESTEX Group now operates more than 25 branches with more than 250 employees worldwide (including TESTEX and its subsidiary OETI). Since 1846 TESTEX has been testing, analysing and certifying with a focus on textiles. Thanks to its high-quality services, its independence, and its innovative strength, this long-established company was first valued in Europe and later worldwide.
Our current markets for certification services are the PR China, Taiwan, Korea, Indonesia, Turkey, Egypt, Austria and Switzerland. 

We take a holistic approach with our comprehensive portfolio, offering globally recognised certifications which cover the whole supply chain from input, through process, to output. The LEATHER STANDARD by OEKO-TEX® is the only one of its kind on the market that tests such a wide range of chemicals for harmful substances. It can also be combined with the STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® for garments or accessories which contain both leather and textile components. TESTEX conducts spot checks on 25% of all certified articles. Furthermore, the ECO-PASSPORT by OEKO-TEX® certification, which verifies chemicals, colourants and auxiliaries, now also covers chemicals for leather and is recognised by the ZDHC. 

The leather market is constantly growing – leather remains an important part of most brands’ portfolio as it is a timeless fashion item which can be found in many garments. Leather is both expensive and durable so consumers expect quality. In an age of climate change and increased awareness concerning environmental issues, they want to have a good conscience by buying sustainable leather. For this reason, we plan to build on the LEATHER STANDARD by OEKO-TEX® by extending STeP by OEKO-TEX® (new: Sustainable Textile & Leather Production) to cover leather facilities too. STeP by OEKO-TEX® is a certification for environmentally friendly and socially responsible textile and leather production facilities.     

Being a natural product which needs to be preserved, leather processing uses a significant amount of chemicals. For this reason we have a continuous exchange with industry representatives such as the ZDHC to ensure that our certifications fulfil the most stringent requirements. We are currently in discussion with the China Leather Industry Association (CLIA) and the Responsible Leather Round Table (Textile Exchange) on how to increase the LEATHER STANDARD by OEKO-TEX®’s relevance for the market.

This seminar will focus on OEKO-TEX®’s unique offering, which goes beyond simply certifying leather. From testing the chemicals which enter the production line, to ensuring that products are safe from harmful substances and were made in socially responsible and environmentally friendly facilities, the end consumer can be confident that they are buying both a timeless and sustainable product. 

Furthermore, we will look at the new regulations for 2019 of the OEKO-TEX® standards, which reinforce consumer protection and sustainability along the value chain. They are based on the continuous exchange with stakeholders, industry initiatives and monitoring of legal regulations.

Official Website: Testex, Swiss Textile-Testing Ltd