Eco 101 Oeko-Tex and Organic

Eco 101 – What’s the Difference Between Oeko-Tex and Organic?

Important environmental lessons made simple.


That’s the goal of Modern Kid Design’s ECO 101, a series we introduced to help break down big ideas like ecosystems, the food chain, energy, healthy food, water, and more into quick, easy fact sheets for busy kids and parents.


The ECO 101 series provides a brief overview of a subject to use as a point of departure for discussing “eco” topics with our kids. This week, we’re focusing on the difference between Oeko-Tex and Organic.


Textile Certifications


In a marketplace with products made from materials that may be worrisome, it is important to find fabrics that give you peace of mind. Oeko-Tex and Organic are two leading certification processes that take the guesswork out of healthfulness—but they aren’t the same thing.


In the simplest terms, the Oeko-Tex Standard certifies that goods are safe for human use. The products are tested to ensure they are free from over 100 harmful substances.


There are many different Organic Certification Standards, including the USDA’s, and each one is slightly nuanced. In the most basic form, however, the natural fibers of a certified organic item must be grown, harvested, and manufactured without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.


Still have some lingering questions about what differentiates Oeko-Tex from organic? Here’s a brief overview below for those who want to learn a little bit more about each.


Oeko-Tex Standard 100




Oeko-Tex was created in 1992. Since its inception, it has issued certificates to over 5,000 manufacturers worldwide. Based in Switzerland and Japan, it has partner testing facilities in over 70 countries.

Certification Process


Oeko-Tex certified products bear the label, “Confidence in Textiles.” This means the product has passed a rigorous certification process to ensure it meets all of the standard’s criteria. Testing for upwards of 100 different substances, Oeko-Tex’s evaluation is based on the presence of the following:


  • Illegal substances,
  • Regulated substances,
  • Substances that have not been regulated but show proof of harming health, and
  • Precautionary measures to safeguard human health.


The certification process is conducted by independent third-party laboratories and must be re-tested annually.


 Organic Cotton




Textiles that are certified organic must comply with the standards created by the Organic Food Production Act of 1990.


Certification Process


Organic-certified fabrics are tested to ensure they were not produced with pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. In doing so, the process certifies that textiles are free of chemicals that could be harmful to human health.


How It Differs from Oeko-Tex Standard


Fabrics that are certified organic are created without harmful synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. This applies to every step of the manufacturing process. In addition, many organic standards require manufacturers adhere to responsible waste disposal and fair labor practices.


At Modern Kids Design, we think both standards provide peace of mind but would love to hear your thoughts as well. As always, feel free to reach out at and thanks for reading!

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