Definition: our non-toxic dyes icon ensures the materials in the collection are free from AZO dyes and phthalates.
What qualifies for this guarantee?
This guarantee covers chemicals like AZO dyes and phthalates that are harmful to people and the planet, you must be able to provide evidence that your products do not include any of these toxic chemicals.
What supporting evidence do I need?
- OEKO-TEX (Standard 100, MiG or STeP) or equivalent certification (e.g. REACH, Bluesign or GOTS)
- Tannery/ dye house named
- List of finishes (if applied)
- Policy on chemical usage & dyes used in products
- ONLY if you are a small brand (15 workers or fewer work in the studio producing your collection) and use hand dying / plant dyes on your products you can provide written evidence to attain the guarantee, along with photo evidence of the hand dying process
For Leather Products:
- Evidence of using vegetable-tanned leather
Why is this important?
Many of the chemicals used in the fashion industry are polluting and have negative effects on local ecosystems and communities.
They can render water undrinkable, destroy marine wildlife, impact soil quality and contribute to crop resistance, which many people in poorer countries depend on for their livelihoods.
The types of chemicals used can be hazardous to the people who work with them, especially in workplaces where regulation is laxer and where workers do not have access to personal protective equipment.
Chemicals used in clothing can pose a risk to consumers too – a Greenpeace study (2021) which tested more than 100 garments from 20 major fashion brands found that all brands had hazardous chemicals in some of their items. They found high levels of toxic chemical phthalates in four of the garments, and cancer-causing amines from the use of certain azo dyes were found in two garments. These are both chemicals that can be used during the wet processing stage of textile production.
If you are interested in learning more about how the chemicals that are used in the fashion industry adversely impact the environment and people, we recommend watching this informative video that examines these impacts in India’s textile capital Tiruppur.
Chromium vs Vegetable Tanned Leather
Chromium is the chemical used to stop the leather from decomposing, if used in a sensitive manner the environmental and health impacts can be managed. However, the majority of leather is produced in India, China, and Bangladesh, and these countries lack environmental and safety protection standards in order to safely dispose of the chemicals. This means the chromium and other tanning chemicals get dumped, polluting the soil and waterways resulting in serious health problems for those living in the area. The processing of leather is incredibly chemical intensive, 300kgs of chemicals are used for every 900kg of animal hides tanned.
Vegetable-tanned leather is seen as a more environmentally friendly way to consume leather, using dyes from likes of tree bark instead of toxic chemicals. This is a more time-intensive process and requires a skilled craftsman to produce.
For Vegan Leather Products
Opting for PU over PVC in order to ensure phthalates are not present.
What is OEKO-TEX?
OEKO-TEX STANDARD 100 (the most common certification they offer) tests every component from threads to finished fabrics, zippers, buttons, and linings to ensure a specific list of harmful substances are not present, therefore ensuring the product is harmless for human health.
However, it is worth noting that the tests are only for the finished product, meaning it does not guarantee that there is no use of toxic chemicals in the supply chain which have been washed out.