LEATHER STANDARD by OEKO-TEX® is a globally harmonized, independent testing and certification system for leather products and accessories at all stages of production. Testing for harmful substances with LEATHER STANDARD incorporates important legal regulations, chemicals that pose a risk to health (including some that are not yet legally regulated) and a wide variety of health care parameters.
OEKO-TEX® is also working for more transparency in the leather industry as a contributing partner of the Sustainable Leather Foundation.
- A practical tool for quality assurance
- Consumer protection with textile products that are harmless to human ecology and legally compliant - without expending internal resources
- The modular principle of LEATHER STANDARD facilitates testing and certification at every processing stage. Duplicate testing costs are avoided by using certificates from prior stages – even for products with complex structures
- As a 3rd party verified label, LEATHER STANDARD is a marketing tool for transparently documenting and promoting product stewardship efforts
- The OEKO-TEX® criteria catalogue is applied consistently worldwide and provides standardized requirements for purchasing and delivery
- Built in transparency increases product safety and saves time
- Marketing opportunities in the OEKO-TEX® Buying Guide and external listings such as Texbase CertLink and Foursource.
- Gives consumers and purchasers a reliable, 3rd-party label for non-hazardous products that are tested to strict global standards and effectively protect from harmful substances in leather
- Provides targeted product stewardship support for companies in the supply chain with human-ecological product safety, based on a scientific criteria catalogue and neutral laboratory tests
- Simplifies and accelerates supplier relationships for manufacturers and retailers who want to ensure product safety for their customers
- Ensures legal conformity for importers, retailers and manufacturers
The OEKO-TEX® criteria catalogue contains a wide variety of test parameters that consider all ways a substance can be absorbed (skin, mouth, breathing). The central components of LEATHER STANDARD - requirements, limit values and test methods - are based on science. In many cases, the test criteria and limit values go far beyond applicable international standards and regulations.
LEATHER STANDARD tests for harmful substances based on the product's purpose. The more intensive the skin contact and the more sensitive the skin, the stricter the human-ecological requirements.
Certificate ownership: Any manufacturer or reseller of leather materials or finished goods - from any stage of processing - throughout the value chain. (Textile materials and accessories are certified with STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®)
Use: A certification is only applicable to a product if each component - and the product itself - is certified.
As long as no changes have been made to the product covered under a supplier's certificate, a company may use their supplier's certificate/label. Althernatively, many brands and retailers opt to re-certify the product(s) and maintain control with their own label number.
Note: It is common that some or all of the inputs/ingredients of a product have been pre-certified by the supplier. Although this is NOT required, it helps to catch issues where the chemical decisions are made in the supply chain. Learn more about the modular system here.
OEKO-TEX® is based on a modular system. Certification is available for every stage of the supply chain and certificates from prior stages are recognized downstream. This means that costs are shared throughout the supply chain and traceability enhanced.
By signing the application, the applicant commits to and is solely responsible for complying with all relevant animal and species conservation legislation.
The LEATHER STANDARD supplement for Special Articles is related to specific market segments and product types with specific requirements. It is only valid for finished goods/end products.
‘Special Articles’ includes chairs and couches, helmets, watch straps, saddles, suitcases, backpacks, etc.
Contact us to determine if your product falls under the supplement.
A LEATHER STANDARD certificate is valid for 12 months and can be renewed annually. We recommend starting the renewal process up to three months before expiration to ensure continuous product safety and smooth process along the modular OEKO-TEX® system. Many downstream certifications are dependent on pre-certified components from suppliers.
To ensure consistent safety of certified products, an approved quality management system must be in place. Qualified auditors verify systems during on-site quality assurance meetings. These meetings occurs within the first year of certification and every third year thereafter.
In addition to internal quality assurance programs, the certified company agrees to the declaration of conformity during application. This agreement allows OEKO-TEX® institutes to conduct control tests.
Each year, Hohenstein control tests at least 25% of certified products. Previously certified materials are re-tested during certification processes for downstream products. Random samples of OEKO-TEX® certified products are purchased from stores and tested again in the laboratory. In addition, independent auditors commissioned by OEKO-TEX® conduct unannounced site inspections to assess on-site quality assurance in the facilities.
A LEATHER STANDARD by OEKO-TEX® certificate and label are awarded only when all the component parts meet the test criteria. Finished goods must have their own certification, even if all the individual components have already been certified.
Since the LEATHER STANDARD label is a protected trademark, all companies using the label must comply with the labeling rules. Forgery and misuse of the trademark will be prosecuted under criminal and civil law.
A LEATHER STANDARD label is only valid if the test number and the responsible testing institute are shown. These details must also correspond to the company’s own certificate.
For B2B purchasers, a LEATHER STANDARD label applied to a product is not sufficient proof of successful testing. Buyers should always require the supplier to submit a valid OEKO-TEX® certificate. The details on the LEATHER STANDARD label (test number and test institution) must correspond to those on the certificate and the product must be included in the certificate scope.
Hohenstein Institute America