S05 Episode 237 | OEKO-TEX®, green chemistry & navigating the nuances of product labels


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On episode 237, Kestrel welcomes Ben Mead, the Managing Director of Hohenstein Institute USA, to the show. Hohenstein Institute USA is one of the founding members of the OEKO-TEX® Association, and Ben serves as the company’s liaison with government agencies, industry collaborations and trade associations.

“Green chemistry has a kind of textbook definition around design of chemicals and processes really to help reduce or eliminate hazardous substances or the toxicity and those sort of hazard type characteristics — and so, I think that’s pretty well been defined by some of the organizations that really focus on green chemistry. I think one of the other things that’s important when we consider, or we do other work — is not only what goes into the actual chemical itself, but also how can that influence the impact of how it’s used as well.” -Ben Mead

On this week’s show, Ben shares more on his background working in chemistry and textiles, and some of the work he does with OEKO-TEX® today.

Also, he helps explains some of the origins of OEKO-TEX® as an association, and the key differences between their certifications — STANDARD 100, MADE IN GREEN, and STeP. Kestrel also asks Ben to specify some of the ways in which OEKO-TEX® holds themselves accountable, when it comes to the validity of their labels.

Ben also walks us through the layers verified in their MADE IN GREEN label — including the way it can be traced using a unique product ID or QR code, to give shoppers access to additional detailed information about the supply chain of that product.

This week's episode is brought to you by OEKO-TEX® - a worldwide association of 18 independent research and test institutes that sets standards for safer textile and leather production and products. The OEKO-TEX® portfolio of independent certifications and product labels help all of us make responsible decisions to choose products that are safer, more environmentally friendly, and manufactured in a socially responsible way.

Learn more about their labels at www.oeko-tex.com.

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