Keep tabs on yourself and your suppliers.

The more consumers learn about the textile industry, the more concerned they become. Consumers expect companies to provide safe products, protect workers and save the environment. They want to do the right thing and need brands and retailers to help.

With STeP by OEKO-TEX®, brands, retailers and manufacturers get a focused solution for addressing market requirements and goals for sustainability and transparency throughout the supply chain. 

DETOX TO ZERO by OEKO-TEX® helps production facilities to establish an efficient chemical management system and enables them to identify harmful substances and report progress toward the Greenpeace Detox campaign goals.


Independent certification for environmentally friendly & socially responsible production facilities

STeP = Sustainable Textile (and leather) Production.

STeP is an independent certification system that lets companies clearly demonstrate their commitment to sustainable production through a neutral partner. STeP certification lays the foundation for continuous improvement of sustainable production and working conditions in production facilities throughout the supply chain. Its modular structure allows for comprehensive analysis and assessment of compliance with sustainability criteria in all relevant areas.

STeP Benefits:

  • Global brands and retailers use STeP to find suppliers that meet environmental protection and social responsibility requirements
  • STeP enables clear and comprehensive documentation of sustainabity efforts to consumers and the supply chain
  • Independent verification facilitates a trust for entering new markets and new partnerships
  • STeP helps manufacturers throughout the supply chain improve efficiency in production processes
  • STeP supports comprehensive analysis and evaluation of sustainable production conditions
  • STeP certification is specially tailored to conditions in the textile, leather and apparel industries

STeP certification establishes environmentally friendly production processes, improves work safety and promotes socially responsible working conditions in production facilities throughout the supply chain. Certified companies continuously improve their performance and efficiency with built-in benchmarking and regular updates to the STeP criteria. Competitive position gained by the manufacturer is backed by 3rd party certification.

The six modules in STeP by OEKO-TEX® certification allow for a comprehensive analysis and evaluation of all the necessary aspects of sustainable manufacturing.

Every production facility along the supply chain can have its production and working conditions certified with STeP.

STeP certification for agricultural processes such as the cultivation of cotton or the production of sheep’s wool and downstream stages such as transportation is currently unavailable.

  • Independence: Hohenstein is an accredited, independent testing laboratory and inspection body and a founding member of OEKO-TEX®, an internationally recognized, independent association. We offer a standardized worldwide solution for greater sustainability throughout the industry
  • Textile and leather: Unlike other systems, STeP certification is specifically tailored to the conditions of the textile and leather industries and offers a well-founded evaluation of sustainable production. With deep knowledge of every stage, Hohenstein has the expertise required to realistically and neutrally evaluate a company
  • Transparency: STeP offers the greatest possible transparency for stakeholders at every level: all criteria and validation procedures are accessible. Certified companies have unlimited access to their data and the details of their evaluation. The evaluation system provides a condensed but comprehensive picture of sustainability performance for manufacturers, brands, retailers and consumers
  • Dynamism: The ongoing improvement process for certified companies is supported by the continuous development of the STeP certification criteria
  • Communication: STeP certification offers a trustworthy and comprehensive method of communicating with the customer and the media. The internationally recognized OEKO-TEX® brand strengthens the image of participating companies
  • Holistic approach: We analyze every relevant area of a production facility, taking the various individual components of the STeP certification into account

Due to the global interconnectedness of the textile and apparel industry, only binding worldwide criteria can provide objective comparisons of sustainable production.

The applicant is disqualified if any of the exclusion criteria are present in the facility.

Chemical management

  • The introduction of a suitable chemical management system
  • Compliance with the Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL)
  • Regular chemical handling training (basic and advanced)
  • Transparent communication and control of the chemicals used and their associated risks
  • Monitoring of chemical usage, the procurement of chemicals and auxiliary agents and their storage and application

Environmental performance

  • Compliance with the stipulated limit values (wastewater, emissions, etc.)
  • The use of production systems and equipment that meet the latest standards of technology
  • Efficient use of resources
  • Reduction of the carbon footprint

Environmental management

  • Implementation of existing environmental management systems for the systematic coordination and implementation of all environmental protection measures
  • Definition of environmental objectives
  • Regular creation of environmental reports

Social responsibility

  • Ensuring socially acceptable working conditions in line with UN human rights conventions and ILO core labor standards
  • Implementing management systems for continuously improving working conditions
  • Complying with strict requirement for working hours, wages, etc.
  • Involving local stakeholders    

Quality management

  • Implementation of a QM system in line with ISO 9001 or other operational methods
  • Guaranteed traceability, responsibility and appropriate documentation regarding the flow of goods and manufactured products
  • Further reaching management issues such as risk management and corporate governance, including anti-corruption and company codes of conduct

Occupational health and safety

  • Implementation of recognized safety standards (example: based on OHSAS 18001)
  • Measures for ensuring safety at the workplace and personal protective equipment
  • Ensuring the safety of buildings and production plants (e.g. through construction measures, escape plans, separation of production areas, etc.)

The STeP certificate is issued after a production facility has been successfully audited and is valid for three years. This period can be extended for an additional three years following successful re-certification. If problems are identified at any point during the certification process, a STeP by OEKO-TEX® certificate may be revoked.

After the initial certification audit, a compliance audit and unannounced audits of the company take place during the certificate validity period. As the responsible OEKO-TEX® institute, we verify compliance with the criteria at the production facilities and analyze progress.

STeP is an integral component of the MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX® product label.


Solution to fulfill Greenpeace Detox requirements with independent verification & reporting

DETOX TO ZERO helps you meet Greenpeace Detox Campaign Goals.

DETOX TO ZERO by OEKO-TEX® is an easy-to-use verification system for textile facilities that wish to achieve the Greenpeace Detox campaign objectives. DETOX TO ZERO is not a classic pass/fail certification system. Instead, it emphasizes continuous improvement through regular analysis of company practices with a plan to reduce hazardous substances in production and introduce environmental protection measures. DETOX TO ZERO compiles an annual status report that lists the chemicals used and assesses waste and wastewater handling and environmental protection measures. It gives both the production facility and its customers a tool for continuous monitoring of progress toward Detox campaign fulfillment.


  • Steady optimization and continuous monitoring of chemical management system based on the Detox campaign objectives
  • Compliance with legal and/or NGO requirements
  • The status report provides a plan for continuous improvement to ensure that the chemicals used comply with DETOX TO ZERO by OEKO-TEX® MRSL
  • Efficient tool for communicating the status of fulfilled Greenpeace Detox requirements
  • Independent data evaluation and verification
  • Key textile expertise by your side at every stage from data collection to the final evaluation
  • Full integration into the OEKO-TEX® system for product responsibility is possible at any time with STeP by OEKO-TEX®
  • Optimization of process and product safety at every stage along the textile chain
  • Opportunity to implement your “Detox” commitment and convey your efficient, credible and sustainable procurement procedures to over 16,000 users of OEKO-TEX® around the world

DETOX TO ZERO by OEKO-TEX® enables textile industry manufacturers to assess the status of their chemical management systems and the quality of their wastewater and sludge and to document through independent verification. The ultimate goal is to completely eliminate eleven dangerous chemical groups from textile production because these groups contaminate the environment and can accumulate in the human body.

DETOX TO ZERO analyzes and evaluates:

DETOX TO ZERO is designed for the supply chain of brands and retailers that have signed up to the Greenpeace Detox agreement and for suppliers and purchasers who endeavor to proactively ensure compliance with the objectives of the Greenpeace Detox campaign.

The DETOX TO ZERO status report is valid for one year.

  1. Complete the online application and choose Hohenstein as your institute
  2. An auditor verifies the company data and process with an on site audit
  3. You receive a status report

The DETOX TO ZERO system is fully integrated into the OEKO-TEX® system. DETOX TO ZERO operates through the same software as STeP by OEKO-TEX®, which allows you to enter operating data easily and efficiently and monitor progress continuously. DETOX can also be integrated into the STeP certificate.

Sustainable products must also function.

Ben Mead
Managing Director
Hohenstein Institute America