How OEKO-TEX® promotes young talents

Education is a key enabler for sustainable development. While ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education for all is an integral part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), according to their 2023 report progress towards quality education is slower than required to achieve SDG 4 by 2030.

At the same time, the textile and leather industry is in desperate need of young talents to further promote sustainable development. Particularly in Western societies, where aging populations are a notable trend. Since its early days, OEKO-TEX® has always maintained a strong focus on education in the industry. We support students from various universities with scholarships to promote their professional journey. For many years, we have been backing the German scholarship programme Deutschlandstipendium, an initiative led by The German Federal Ministry of Education.

Modelled after the principle of public-private partnership, businesses, foundations or private individuals sponsor young talents with a pledge of 150 euros per month. The Federal Government matches this amount with another 150 euros. In this way the scholarship provides financial and non-material support to high-achieving and committed students from all over the world. On top many sponsors support Deutschlandstipendium holders through concurrent mentoring programmes, networking events and internships.

At the moment OEKO-TEX® supports scholarship owners of Hochschule Fresenius  and HS Niederrhein, who later work in various fields of the industry promoting the holistic approach to sustainability. Indeed, a number of them opt for internships within our organization and we also offer them guidance and support throughout their thesis projects. If possible, we are proud to welcome them to our team at the start of their career, just like we did with our Stakeholder Manager Carolin Franitza . 

We are convinced that fresh perspectives by a younger generation can provide valuable insights on how to tackle the most pressing challenges of the industry. Supporting them through scholarships is a way we are delighted to continue to go.