In the age of climate change and environmental protection, the pressure on manufacturers, brands and retailers in the textiles sector is growing. More and more consumers are calling for compliance with minimum social standards in the manufacture of their textiles. The Oeko-Tex Association, together with Hohenstein as one of the founding members, has developed a comprehensive product portfolio to provide everyone involved in the textiles value creation chain with the best possible security and extensive transparency.
“The product label Made in Green by Oeko-Tex in particular offers a clear statement,” the association reports. “The textiles labelled with it are manufactured under environmentally friendly and socially acceptable production conditions and offer safety regarding potentially harmful substances. Consumers can immediately find out in which production facilities and countries the finishing of the textile article took place via the product ID or QR code on the end product.”
“But Made in Green also benefits retailers and businesses that are searching specifically for socially responsible partners and suppliers along the textile supply chain. Here the Oeko-Tex Buying Guide facilitates the selection of Made in Green labelled products.”
Communicating sustainable production
The knitwear manufacturer Mattes & Ammann was one of the first companies to be found in the Buying Guide in the Made in Green by Oeko-Tex section. The family owned company from Swabia based in Meßstetten-Tieringen has made a name for itself as a manufacturer of fine knitted fabrics for the automotive industry and the mattress industry.
“When it comes to certifications in the areas of quality, environmental protection, occupational safety and social matters, we are a true business of conviction, and, most importantly, we live and breathe certifications,” said Sales Director Werner Moser.
Already in the summer of 2013, Mattes & Ammann was the first textiles facility to be certified in the European Economic Area by Hohenstein according to Sustainable Textile Production STeP by Oeko-Tex in order to be able to communicate their own sustainable production conditions to the outside world. In the summer of 2015, the company was one of the first companies in the B2B sector to receive Made in Green labels for its textile products for the hygiene market. In the meantime, the assortment of fabrics for the mattress industry has also been added.
Increased production capacity
“We have practically doubled our production capacity in this area over the last years. With currently around 270 employees and a total production area of around 36,000 square metres, Mattes & Ammann produces more than 46 million square metres of textile fabrics annually in circular knitting, round knitting and warp knitting – with sufficient scope for expansion. The traditional guiding principle is always in focus: We set ourselves the goal of acting flawlessly in every respect. Alongside the quality concept, the environmental and social ethos also belong to this,” continued Mr Moser.
“In fact, hardly any other supplier of the textiles sector in Europe has certified its facility in the areas of quality, environment and operational safety so comprehensively. It is our aspiration to always be one step ahead. For this reason, we always look for certification opportunities that suit us.”
“Of course, you have to spend a lot of money to carry out a project like this, not to mention in-house infrastructure or work capacity requirements. However, for use, it has become clear that the certificates also pay off economically. It is not only the sales promoting aspect that comes into play, but also the potential to be able to account cost savings through the optimisation of in-house processes such as goods flows.”