GEOX has commissioned TÜV SÜD to certify all its shoes and distinguish them with the TÜV SÜD Footwear Mark, with effect from its autumn/winter 2016 collection. Testing will be designed to ensure that the shoes are free from hazardous chemical residues. TÜV SÜD will analyse the shoes for lead, cadmium, chromium, nickel, carcinogenic and allergenic dyes, tensides and other substances classified as toxic, hazardous and non-biodegradable.
In the future, TÜV SÜD will carry out two million tests on GEOX shoes every year. The contract will be performed by the TÜV SÜD laboratories in Ranipet (India), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Xiamen (China) and Frankfurt (Germany). Every year, the laboratories will test 5,000 finished shoes and an equal number of raw materials. “By commissioning the extensive tests for the TÜV SÜD Footmark certification, GEOX is making a further step towards sustainable production. The testing goes beyond the legal requirements, and thus contributes to reducing hazardous materials in shoes and improving consumer safety”, says Raffaella Santoro, Sales Head Softlines Europe at TÜV SÜD Product Service. In addition to conducting extensive chemical analyses, TÜV SÜD also performs factory inspections and tests shoes sampled from retailers.
Increasing awareness of quality and sustainability
The footwear industry produces around 20 billion pairs of shoes each year, spanning all styles from high heels to sneakers and functional work boots, and involving a wide range of materials including leather, rope, textiles or synthetics. Frequently, these materials have been treated with chemicals that can be hazardous to health. However, as consumer awareness of product quality, safety and sustainability rises, jurisdictions are increasingly restricting the use of potentially hazardous materials. The shoe industry must comply with complex requirements, including the European Chemical Regulation, REACH, and the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) in the USA.
The TÜV SÜD Footwear Mark documents quality awareness
TÜV SÜD's Footwear Mark covers extensive chemical analyses of the shoes produced and factory inspection carried out by auditors. After issue of the certificate, which documents compliance with international standards and legal requirements, TÜV SÜD will carry out annual factory inspections, complemented by market surveillance to ensure the products continue to meet the requirements of the certification mark.
Interested readers can find further information on the TÜV SÜD Footwear Mark at www.tuv-sud.com/footwearmark.
Press-contact: Heidi Atzler