The central focus of the LEATHER STANDARD by OEKO-TEX® has been the development of test criteria, limit values and test methods on a scientific basis. On the basis of its comprehensive and strict catalogue of measures for harmful substances, with several hundred regulated individual substances, the LEATHER STANDARD by OEKO-TEX® takes account of:

  • Important legal regulations, such as banned azo colourants, chromium(VI), formaldehyde, pentachlorophenol, cadmium, nickel release, PFOS etc.
  • Numerous harmful chemicals, even if they are not yet legally regulated.
  • Requirements of Annexes XVII and XIV of the European Chemicals Regulation REACh as well as of the ECHA SVHC Candidate List insofar as they are assessed by expert groups of the OEKO-TEX® Association to be relevant for leather materials and leather articles/products. Discussions and developments that are considered to be relevant are taken into account as quickly and effectively as possible through updates to the LEATHER STANDARD by OEKO-TEX® requirements.
  • Requirements from the US Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) regarding lead.
  • Numerous also environmentally relevant substance classes.

The LEATHER STANDARD by OEKO-TEX® therefore contributes to high and effective product safety from a consumer’s point of view. Test criteria and limit values in many cases go far beyond applicable national and international standards.

Laboratory tests and product classes

The LEATHER STANDARD by OEKO-TEX® tests for harmful substances are fundamentally based on the respective purpose of the leather materials respectively leather articles/products. The more intensive the skin contact of a product and the more sensitive the skin, the stricter the human-ecological requirements that need to be complied with.

Accordingly, a distinction is made between four product classes:

  • Product class I:
    Products for babies and toddlers up to 3 years age (leather clothing, leather gloves, crawling sheepskin, fur etc.)
  • Product class II:
    Products that are worn close to the skin (leather trousers/-jackets, leather underwear etc.)
  • Product class III:
    Products used away from the skin (lined leather jackets/overcoats, leather handbags, leather belts etc.)
  • Product class IV:
    Decoration/Furnishing materials (upholstery leather covers etc.)