Bamboo - I have seen other company’s talk about various certifications, what exactly do they mean?
We can tell you this: Most of the
claims that are made by many sites, are very misleading. To generalize, they
are providing you with some textile certification that, unless you are in the
business or do some research on it, the manner in which it is referenced and
what is implied is quite simply misleading. That being said, we want to point
out that this practice is certainly not endorsed by all sites. But it is very
Here we will set the record straight and give you the facts.
Let’s start with the Oeko Tex 100.
1st of all, the bamboo fiber used in our bamboo baby products, bamboo clothing, or bamboo bedding, for example, is Oeko Tex 100 certified. Now, what does this mean?
The Oeko Tex 100 standard was
created back in 1992. It is an International standard that restricts the use of
harmful chemicals, pesticides etc. Below is a list of the parameters used for
the performance criteria:
- Prohibited azo dyestuffs
- Carcinogenic and allergy inducing
- Chloro organic carriers
- Chlorinated phenols
- Extractable heavy metals
- Color fastness
- pH value
- Phtalates in baby articles
- Butyl tin compounds (TBT and DBT)
- Emission of volatile components
It is important to note that the
Oeko Tex 100 is definitely a positive certification to have. The Oeko Tex 100
standard certifies that a textile product, at a particular point in the manufacturing process, has been certified to be either free
of or has acceptable levels of the parameters referenced above. However, it
does not govern or certify any part of the processing of that particular
product. It also has nothing to do with whether or not a product is deemed
organic or not. So in essence, the fiber or yarn has met with some pretty
stringent criteria regarding any traces of chemicals, pesticides, etc., but it
tells you nothing about the crops, and or any chemicals or methods used in the
processing of that particular product.
We would like to note that the
bamboo crops, used in the procurement of the bamboo fibers in our products, are
certified “organic” by the USDA.
There are other Oeko Tex
certifications, such as the Oeko Tex 1000.
The Oeko Tex 1000 standard is
associated more with the environmental practices of the facility itself. As
with Oeko Tex 100, the Oeko Tex 1000 certification is an International
The Oeko-Tex Standard 1000 requires that companies:
The company guarantees in a declaration of commitment that they comply with all
the criteria required by the Oeko-Tex® Standard 1000. The incorporation of
basic elements of an environmental management system in the operational
procedures is essential for this.
- Comply with specified criteria to avoid or limit the use of harmful substances
- Observe stringent limit values relating to waste water and exhaust air
- Optimize their energy consumption
- Ensure low noise and dust pollution
- Introduce measures to ensure safety at work
- Statutory requirements and regulations must be complied with as minimum
requirements. The use of child labor is prohibited.
You will note that they require the
company to submit a declaration of commitment stating that they comply with all
the criteria required by the Oeko Tex standard 1000.
Does this imply that said facility
does not actually undergo an inspection confirming their compliance? At the
time of this writing, I am not sure what the criteria for compliance by the
governing body is. That said, we will continue our research and continue to
update our bamboo information section. As always, if you - our visitor, have a
credible resource link, we are always happy to hear from you.
Next we have the Oeko Tex 100+.
This certification recognizes that a company has achieved the aforementioned
certifications, the Oeko Tex 100 and the Oeko Tex 1000.
Next up, we have the ISO
(International Organization for Standardization):
You may run into some company’s
that tout, “ISO 9000” certified or “ISO 14000” certified. Let’s start with the
ISO 9000. This is not a certification that has anything to do with the actual
product being organic or free of chemicals, etc. Rather, it is merely a set of
tools and or standards that a company can adopt in order to improve qualities
and efficiencies in their management structure. Furthermore, it does not
certify any commitment to environmentally friendly practices on the part of the
And finally we have the ISO 14000
family of standards:
The ISO (International Organization
Standardization) actually has over 16,000 different standards. They are
implemented in over 140 countries worldwide and bring together the expertise of
over 40 international organizations. The 14001 for example, does deal with
environmental issues. One of their objectives is to mitigate climate change. It
is a toolbox of standards that a business (not just a textile manufacturer) can
utilize to set environmental objectives. They would begin by identifying the
environmental impact of their activities. The company is then supposed to
achieve their goals, and lastly, demonstrate that they have met those goals.
The thing is, different countries have different attitudes and regulations when
it comes to environmental issues. It would be a difficult task to really know for
sure the details of a business in a foreign country with regard to their
environmental and sustainability practices.
There are certainly more
“certifications” out there…but we wanted to provide you with some background on
the ones that we have run across when looking at other company’s on the
internet that sell textile products.
Important Facts About Our Suppliers:
- The bamboo is USDA certified organic
- The bamboo farms are OCIA certified organic
- The fiber is FSC chain of custody certification: FSC chain of custody (CoC) tracks FSC certified material through the production process - from the forest to the consumer, including all successive stages of processing, transformation, manufacturing and distribution. Only FSC CoC certified operations are allowed to label products with the FSC trademarks. The FSC label thus provides the link between responsible production and consumption and thereby enables the consumer to make socially and environmentally responsible purchasing decisions.
- The fiber has Oeko Tex 100 Class A certification
- Our suppliers are members of and approved by Green America
- The bamboo fiber is processed in a closed loop system where 98% of the sodium hydroxide and 74% of the carbon disulphide are recovered and recycled.
- No chemicals are applied to the fabrics unless they either meet the GOTS standards or are Oeko Tex certified. There are no residual chemicals in the fiber.
- All dyes are low impact Azo-free dyes.
Read more about our bamboo products and suppliers.
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