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Rug Isn’t Sheepish

‘Leather Standard’ by Oeko-Tex verifies leather articles are safe

ZURICH — From a young age, we use leather products in all areas of life, from rugs made of sheepskin to footwear, says Oeko-Tex®, which describes itself as a worldwide independent testing and certification system for raw, semi-finished, and finished textile products, since 1992.

Reliable verification that leather articles do not contain any harmful substances, such as the allergenic Chrom-VI, represents a valuable decision-making tool for all consumers, the firm notes.

The firm writes that products with its, “Leather Standard” label have offered the “reassurance that they have been tested against an extensive catalogue of harmful substances through independent laboratory tests,” and that they comply with the company’s strict criteria.

“Oeko-Tex is such a well-know standard that we have always been aware of its use in the retail sectors that we sell products into,” says Leroy Parker, technical director of the Australian Auskin Group, supplier of sheepskins.

“In 2017, however, we learned of the new Leather Standard which would replace the Standard 100 for our product category. With the same stringent testing criteria but modified to better suit the needs of the leather industry and ultimately our customers,” explains Parker.

At the same time, the Leather Standard offers manufacturers and suppliers of leather articles a practical system for supplementing their company quality assurance from human-ecological perspectives, Oeko-Tex points out.

“Furthermore,” the company relates, “the Leather Standard label is valued by companies as a transparent tool that they can use to communicate their product responsibility in leather goods retailers and online shops in a clear and credible way.”

Since its introduction two years ago, “almost 40 certificates have been issued around the world for a wide range of products — from goatskin rugs as an attractive lifestyle accessory for the bedroom to leather clothing to leather handbags from the elegant Italian brand Zanellato,” it says.

“Independent certification according to the Leather Standard helps us to get more orders from our customers,” says Gongcheng Zhai, sales director at Henan Prosper Skins & Leather Enterprise, when summing up the benefits.

A Leather Standard certificate, Oeko-Tex indicates, is only issued if all components of a sales product meet the valid requirements, including the leather as well as the accessory parts such as metal buttons and zips. An online directory of certified products is available from the firm.