A major milestone towards responsible production in the textile and leather industry

Among the largest industrial sectors in the world, the textile and leather supply chains are diverse and complex. They span design, raw material harvesting, spinning, yarn production, dyeing, weaving, cutting, stitching and final garment construction.

The production and consumption of textiles have enormous environmental, economic and social impacts. The complexity makes it challenging for brands and manufactures to implement responsible production processes. STeP supports the industry in facilitating safe and eco-friendly decisions and enforces responsible work conditions. It also enables facilities to communicate their efforts in a credible way. Our certification proves stewardship toward employees and the environment.

We are delighted to announce that over 1,000 facilities have achieved OEKO-TEX® STeP certification.

Over 1,030,000 people work in these facilities:

  • Under safe and socially responsible working conditions according to the UN human rights conventions
  • Receiving fair wages
  • With security measures such as risk analysis, workplace and building safety, training and safe chemical handling and storage

The facilities are located in 56 countries, including Bangladesh, India and Turkey. Each facility is committed to measuring its environmental performance regarding air, water and sludge. In addition, STeP certified facilities can freely use the Impact Calculator to measure their carbon footprint and water usage.

Loyal Textile Mills is a STeP certified manufacturer of yarn, fabric and garments. With 37% market share, it’s one of the largest exporters of knit fabric from India. Over 7,500 employees produce over 33,000 tons of yarn per year and 35,000 knit or woven garments per day.

Loyal is committed to environmentally responsible production. Their wastewater is treated using bio-towers, bio-ponds and electro-catalytic oxidation to remove colors. For example, 70% of their energy comes from renewable wind and solar energy sources and they aim to reach 90%. “We are continuously improving our processing activities toward protecting the environment”, says Mr. Manohar, General Manager – Technical Textiles, Loyal Textile Mills, “Continuous training programs are given to selected teams and particular values are recorded and working towards Greenhouse gas emission reductions. Many different birds reside in the mill premises seasonally; due to the large open tanks created for storing rainwater and the presence of several fruit-bearing trees cultivated especially for the birds to feed upon. It improves pollination and contributes to the natural ecosystem.

They are also focused on employee welfare and satisfaction. A specifically trained team works to build confidence and empower their 55% female workforce. Employees have access to support and training in life skills such as home economics, communication, computer literacy programs and self-defense.

Led by experts from our member institute Hohenstein India, the STeP certification process supports the mill continuously improve their sustainability activities and workplace goals. Mr. Manohar adds: “The OEKO-TEX® STeP certification analysis sets the highest standards for social and environmental aspects of textiles and textile industry. During the process, we received guidance which helped us to understand our process emissions in a 360° view and it supports us on taking necessary steps to reduce carbon emissions.

"For sustainable production, STeP certification is an imperative standard,” adds Adrian Meili, TESTEX AG Group Product Manager and Lead Auditor. “With its comprehensive and holistic approach, worldwide recognition and independent verification, it provides a credible and trustworthy system. Recognised by ZDHC and an integral part of the OEKO-TEX® MADE IN GREEN supply chain, the 6-module certification ensures ethical practices and eliminates greenwashing throughout the supply chain."