OEKO-TEX® vs Organic

OEKO-TEX® vs Organic

As the clothing and footwear industry has been competing for consumer approval by pursuing aesthetics and functionality, the use of chemicals has also increased - reaching around 8000 different synthetic substances. In fact, treating fabrics with the right cocktail of chemicals can provide the desired qualities to deliver a marketable product. After all, who doesn't want their garments to have vibrant, long-lasting colours and prints, or their gear to be odour-free, waterproof, or UV-resistant in extreme conditions?
Yes, these amazing features are all possible with science that happens to utilize toxic and cancerogenic compounds. However, we are rarely warned about the harmful effects on human health and the environment.
Thankfully, chemical certification is becoming more common among conscious brands and OEKO-TEX® is a trusted label in this space. 
(source: https://www.oeko-tex.com/en/our-standards/oeko-tex-standard-100)


Independent OEKO-TEX® institutes conduct extensive lab tests on every product component (eg. dyes, fabrics, threads, buttons, zippers, etc.) to verify that the contained chemicals are harmless to the consumer. The standard measures concentration against limit values for more than 100 substances including known or suspected health-harming chemicals such as:

  • Flame retardants
  • Carcinogenic and allergy-inducing dyes
  • Pesticides
  • Chlorinated phenols
  • Organic tin compounds
  • Chlorinated benzenes and toluenes
  • Heavy metals
  • Solvents
  • Formaldehyde

The standard defines four product classes depending on the intended use. They are

Class 1. Babies and toddlers

Class 2. Direct contact with skin

Class 3. No direct contact with skin

Class 4. Decoration material

Rated from most to least strict, each class sets different requirements (limit values) for the concentration of substances.

The difference between organic and OEKO-TEX® fabric

The main difference between organic and OEKO-TEX® fabrics is that organic fabric has not been tested for harmful substances.

Organic is a reassuring label. And organic certification from a peak body like ACOS should certainly convey the confidence that a producer follows ambitious practices.

But unless a product carries Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX® certification, there is no way to guarantee that it is 100% safe for humans.

When the product touches your skin, you should be confident that every thread, button, zipper, lining and accessory has been rigorously tested for safety. This is particularly important for babies and people with sensitive skin.

The bottom line: parts of products labelled as organic have not necessarily been tested for harmful substances in the same way as products with the OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 Certification are tested.


BRANDS we stock that carries the OEKO-TEX Standard 100:

ManyMonths (Class 1)

BMS (Class 1)


Back to blog