Make the end into a new beginning.

Once a textile becomes obsolete, it can be put back into the cycle as a second-hand product, through downcycling, as an upcycling product or through recycling. Otherwise it will be disposed of through thermal use, landfilling or composting.

The biodegradation test established by Hohenstein assesses the degradation of textile products over a defined test period and through controlled soil burial. These soil burial tests are based on international standards that determine the decomposition and degradation behavior of materials.

In this way, you can transparently communicate the environmental impact of your textiles to the outside after the end of use - demonstrating that your responsibility spans the entire usage cycle.

Our tests are especially suited for:

  • Textile manufacturers
  • Textile finishers
  • Retailers (for examinations of biodegradability)

The Hohenstein test method was developed in accordance with the following standards:

  • DIN EN ISO 11721-1: Textiles - Determination of resistance - of cellulose containing textiles to micro-organisms - Soil burial test - Part 1: Assessment of rot-retardant finishing
  • DIN EN ISO 846: Plastics - Evaluation of the action of microorganisms on plastics
  • DIN EN 13432: Requirements for packaging recoverable through composting and biodegradation

Based on these standards, Hohenstein offers customized testing for individual requirements.

    • The mass loss of the textile:
      examination of the decay process of a product by micro-organisms like fungi and bacteria in combination with oxygen in the soil.
    • The ecotoxicological safety of the textile:
      cress and earthworm tests are used to assess the impact on the environment.

    The soil burial tests take place under standardized conditions. You can specify whether your textiles are buried

    • under standardized laboratory conditions or
    • under outdoor conditions (exposed to the climate).



    • Objective and reliable evaluation of biodegradability
    • Product optimization and educated purchasing decisions
    • Determination of the risks to the environment from your product
    • Quality assurance based on ecotoxicological considerations
    • Claim support for downstream customers with Hohenstein certificate


      Meet the experts.

      Download more detail.

      Ben Mead
      Managing Director
      Hohenstein Institute America