LEATHER STANDARD by OEKO-TEX® -
One year of transparent consumer protection and optimum quality assurance for producers of leather articles
Zurich (hm) From a young age, we use leather products in all areas of life – from baby play rugs made of sheepskin to footwear, sophisticated designer furniture, and seats in aeroplanes, trains and cars. Reliable verification that leather articles do not contain any harmful substances, such as the allergenic Chrom-VI, represents a valuable decision-making tool for all consumers. For a year now, products with the LEATHER STANDARD by OEKO-TEX® label have offered the reassurance that they have been tested against an extensive catalogue of harmful substances through independent laboratory tests and that they comply with the strict OEKO-TEX® criteria. At the same time, the LEATHER STANDARD offers manufacturers and suppliers of leather articles a practical system for supplementing their company quality assurance from human-ecological perspectives. Furthermore, the LEATHER STANDARD label is valued by companies as a transparent tool that they can use to communicate their product responsibility in leather goods retailers and online shops in a clear and credible way.
Since the introduction of the LEATHER STANDARD in January 2017, almost 40 certificates have been issued around the world for a wide range of products – from goatskin rugs as an attractive lifestyle accessory for the bedroom to leather clothing to leather handbags from the elegant Italian brand Zanellato. “The positive response of the industry, including retailers and the end consumer, clarifies that the LEATHER STANDARD is meeting a real market need,” enthuses the OEKO-TEX® General Secretary Georg Dieners about the success of the product label. Demand: growing strongly.
Like the world-leading STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® for textiles tested for harmful substances, the LEATHER STANDARD now also contributes to effective consumer protection in the broad market segment of leather goods. The test criteria and limit values are updated each year and are binding around the world. A LEATHER STANDARD certificate is only issued if all components of a sales product meet the valid requirements, including the leather as well as the accessory parts such as metal buttons and zips. An online directory with LEATHER STANDARD by OEKO-TEX® certified products is available at www.oeko-tex.com/products. More detailed information on the LEATHER STANDARD: www.oeko-tex.com/leatherstandard.
To mark the one-year market anniversary, OEKO-TEX® asked several companies why they rely on the LEATHER STANDARD by OEKO-TEX®.
How did you learn about the LEATHER STANDARD certification?
“OEKO-TEX® is such a well know standard that we have always been aware of its use in the retail sectors that we sell products into,” says Leroy Parker, Technical Director of the Australian Auskin Group. “In 2017, however, we learned of the new LEATHER STANDARD which would replace the STANDARD 100 for our product category. With the same stringent testing criteria but modified to better suit the needs of the leather industry and ultimately our customers,” explains Parker with regard to the decision to use the LEATHER STANDARD.
What are the main advantages of the LEATHER STANDARD for your company?
“Independent certification according to the LEATHER STANDARD by OEKO-TEX® helps us to get more orders from our customers,” says Gongcheng Zhai, Sales Director at Henan Prosper Skins & Leather Enterprise, when summing up the benefits of the standard for the world’s largest tanner of lamb and sheep coats. Budi Purwoko, Director of the Indonesian manufacturer PT. Adi Satria Abadi ASA, also confirms the benefits of opening up new markets and for international export, “particularly in our priority segment of processed leather for gloves”.
“The LEATHER STANDARD immediately reassures our customers that our products have had extensive testing that is directly relevant to our product sector,” adds Parker from the Auskin Group and continues: “Secondly, as a producer we know that our products are being measured to meet the highest industry standards. This fits well with our own in-house and independent QA and QC testing to give us the assurance that we need to sell our products into a wide range of countries around the world.”
Which articles from your product range are already certified in accordance with the LEATHER STANDARD by OEKO-TEX®?
The articles from the Auskin Group, from Henan Prosper Skins & Leather and from PT. Adi Satria Abadi that have been certified in accordance with the LEATHER STANDARD include sheepskins and goatskins in different qualities and colours as well as those for the most diverse of applications such as babycare, rugs for living rooms and bedrooms, and for cushions and beanbags. Sheepskins for babies and small children under 36 months of age meet the most stringent harmful substance requirements of OEKO-TEX® product class I.
As a supplier of fashionable leather accessories, in May 2017, the Italian premium brand Zanellato also received the LEATHER STANDARD certificate for its cult handbags made of Postina® Pura®.
The certified product range in line with LEATHER STANDARD by OEKO-TEX® currently extends to high quality bonded leather for shoes, belts and bags from Ledertech Deutschland GmbH. The company specialises in processing high quality leather materials made of production waste which is processed into materials for new products in a specialised production process.
Do you already use the LEATHER STANDARD label for your marketing activities?
Countless companies who have already certified their products in accordance with the LEATHER STANDARD actively use the label for their communication. This use ranges from product labelling and the design of information materials at the Point-of-Sale to advertising in online shops, catalogues and company websites. In the B2B sector too, many customers already actively request the LEATHER STANDARD certificate as verification of required product safety.
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