Certification according to OEKO-TEX® STeP

OEKO-TEX® STeP is an independent certification system for brands, retailers and manufacturers from the textile and leather industry. Certification is suitable for production facilities at all processing stages who want to communicate their environmental measures externally in a credible and transparent way. All textile companies can be certified, for example, fibre manufacturers, spinning mills, weaving mills, embroiderers, knitwear companies, finishing companies, manufacturers of ready-made clothes, foam and mattress manufacturers and technology logistics centres. In the leather industry, all processes can be certified, from the beamhouse to the tannery to the manufacturer of ready-made clothes.

STeP at a glance


After successful STeP certification, you receive a 3-year certificate and a detailed final report. You can extend the certificate for a further 3 years with recertification.

Certifiable facilities

The independent STeP certification is specifically tailored to production facilities at all processing levels in the textile and leather industry. The prerequisite is that particular minimum requirements must be met.


The costs for STeP certification comprise the certificate fee and the costs for the certification process. This includes reports as well as the implementation and documentation of audits.

Time frame

The duration of the certification process is dependent on the individual conditions of the respective facility. You can expect a period of at least 3 months between the time of application to the issue of the STeP certificate.

Benefits for producers

  • STeP recognises certifications from other companies. You can significantly reduce the costs of certification by including services and certificates already issued (e.g. BSCI, FWF, SA8000, ISO 14001, ISO 9001).
  • Strengthen your economic situation and competitiveness: STeP promotes efficiency in production processes and improves the social and environmental conditions in your company. With the STeP final report, you receive an action plan tailored to your individual requirements.
  • Distinguish yourself as a producer to brands and retail companies who have demanding requirements with regard to environmental protection and social responsibility. The STeP certification system enables you to have transparent public communication of your commitment in the field of sustainable production conditions.
  • Benefit from an improved image which enables you to enter new markets and forge new supplier relationships. The independent STeP certification imparts a high level of credibility and trust and gives you targeted support on your path to greater sustainability.
  • Determine the fulfilment status of the DETOX campaign goals of Greenpeace and your ZDHC engagement. The independent verification system OEKO-TEX® DETOX TO ZERO, which concerns the gradual optimisation and extended monitoring of chemicals management and waste management, is part of STeP.

Prerequisites for STeP certification

In principle, any production facility in the textile and leather industry can have its production and working conditions certified in accordance with STeP. The prerequisite for STeP certification is compliance with specific minimum requirements in the six STeP modules.

Minimum requirements

The basis for STeP certification is compliance with defined minimum requirements, as shown in STeP Standard Annex 10. We inform you immediately if the OEKO-TEX® testing institute identifies that certification is not possible due to non-compliance with one or more minimum requirements.

The STeP scoring system

Unlike other certification systems, STeP enables an integrated view of production conditions from sustainable perspectives. Our independent OEKO-TEX® institutes carry out the analysis and scoring in 6 modules:

  • Chemicals management
  • Environmental performance
  • Environmental management
  • Social responsibility
  • Quality management
  • Health protection and safety at work

The STeP scoring system has three different levels:

Level 1 = Compliance with the entry level specifications
Level 2 = Good implementation with further optimisation potential
Level 3 = Ideal implementation in the sense of Best Practice examples

Qualified OEKO-TEX® auditors evaluate the six modules using this scoring system. The final scoring value for a production facility is calculated as the average of all individual module results.

Your path to STeP certification

  1. Complete the application form and confirm the General Terms of Use (GTU).
  2. When you have received the access data from your selected OEKO-TEX® institute, complete the web-based STeP assessment tool.
  3. Your OEKO-TEX® institute evaluates the information you provide and the documents you submit.
  4. Your OEKO-TEX® institute checks the recorded data during an on-site audit at your production facility.
  5. Your OEKO-TEX® institute creates a detailed audit report, including final assessment, and issues you with the STeP certificate which is valid for 3 years.


During the 3-year term of the certificate, your OEKO-TEX® institute routinely checks for compliance with the required criteria at the production facilities and analyses any progress made. This takes place during conformity audits and unannounced audits.

OEKO-TEX® STeP - Factsheet
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