Sioen apparel highest score on STeP (Sustainable Textile Production) by Oeko-Tex® certificate

Through being audited and certified STeP by Oeko-Tex®, we’re strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development, as stated in SDG 17. We’re mobilising resources, enhancing interregional collaboration and help promote a universal, equitable multilateral trading system

Sioen is STeP by Oeko-Tex® certified

Sioen Apparel holds a STeP (Sustainable Textiles Production) certificate by Oeko-Tex®. We achieved the highest score (score 3). STeP guarantees that we implement environmentally friendly production processes, improve health and safety and have socially responsible working conditions.

What is STeP by Oeko-Tex®

STeP by OEKO-TEX® is an independent certification system for brands, retailers and manufacturers from the textile and leather industry. Certification is suitable for production facilities at all processing stages who want to communicate their environmental measures externally in a credible and transparent way.

The goal of STeP is to implement environmentally friendly production processes in the long term, to improve health and safety and to promote socially responsible working conditions at production sites. (source)

Audit

The Step by Oeko-Tex® certificate is awarded after thorough audit by the Oeko-Tex® Association with headquarters in Zurich.
The audit is based on 6 pillars:

  • quality management
  • chemical management
  • social management
  • safety
  • environmental management
  • environmental performance

We require from our suppliers that supply the apparel division to have also signed the STeP by Oeko-Tex® Code of Conduct.

The first PPE and the highest score

Sioen is proud to say that we’ve obtained the highest score (3). We were the first manufacturer of professional protective clothing to be STeP certified. By going through the whole process and audit, we’ve gained insights we did not have before in our value chain. It allowed us to increase efficiency in production and improve the social and environmental conditions in our company. With the STeP certificate comes a detailed final report we use as an action plan for further improvements.

The independent verification system DETOX TO ZERO by OEKO-TEX®® which concerns the gradual optimisation and extended monitoring of chemicals management and waste management, is part of STeP. Consequently, by being STeP certified we’re complying with the DETOX campaign goals of Greenpeace and with our ZDHC engagement (Road to Zero).

More than a brand

Sioen is not only responsible for sales and marketing but for every other element in the value chain of the garment: Research and Development, product development and design, sample service, CE/ISO/... certification, production instructions (including bill of material, bill of works, CAD patterns, reference samples and instruction drawings), supplier selection, raw materials and purchasing, laboratory and quality control of raw materials and finished products, operations including raw materials and capacity planning, warehousing and logistics.

Benchmark

The STeP certificate is one of the best in the field of sustainability. That are not our words, but the result of a comparison that is made by ITC on their website https://sustainabilitymap.org/standards. This independent website compares more than 100 CSR labels with each other. The makers are supported by:

Comparison with FairWair

Comparison shows that the STeP by Oeko-Tex® scores better (=stricter) than FairWear Foundation on all pillars (see bar diagram below), from which we conclude that Sioen meets the FairWear criteria at least equally (better).

STeP code of conduct

Sioen signed the Step Code of conduct. This Code of Professional Conduct (the "Code”) provides a broad set of principles that apply to our professional activity. This code includes the topics below:

The entire code of conduct of STeP membership can be found online.