What happens when a product reaches the end of its life?

If it isn't recycled in some way, it ends up in a landfill or compost, affecting the surrounding soil and water systems.

Take control of your impact.

Turn the end into a new beginning.

Hohenstein's biodegradation test method uses controlled soil burial over a defined test period. These tests are based on international standards that determine the decomposition and degradation behavior of materials.

The results allow you to determine the decay process and environmental impact of a textile while transparently demonstrating that you have considered its entire life cycle.

Biodegradability tests are used in sourcing, product development, claim verification and quality assurance.

Especially suited for:

  • Textile manufacturers 
  • Textile finishers 
  • Brands and retailers 

Customized testing based on standardized methods.

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.

    Specify burial:

    • under standardized laboratory conditions
    • 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 Dr. Marina Handel.

      Ben Mead
      Managing Director
      Hohenstein Institute America