ECOLOGICAL LABELS IN THE TEXTILE INDUSTRY
A contemporary trend in the field of ecological labels (eco-labels) of the quality of textile products, with an emphasis on the growing need to show their ecological safety has been considered in this paper. In this regard, emphasis was given to the review of the European system of evaluation and labeling of environmental safety (EU eco-label award scheme). The introduction and proper use of eco-labels helps consumers to more fully inform about the properties of products that consumers will consume. On the other hand, the adoption and implementation of legal solutions in this area should establish measures whose implementation will enable companies to preserve natural resources, reduce pollution and the amount of waste materials that they create in the process of their business. Eco-labels can be defined in different ways, but generally means a system under which the information relating to the impact of the specific content of products and the related manufacturing process on the environment, directly involved and clearly presented on the eco-label. The essence of the eco-label is to obtain a specific type of information that enables the potential consumer to make a direct and simple decision to purchase or consume a product. In this way, it can focus on the ecological and economic disadvantages of its activities and the overall production process. However, what may be a lack of these labels is that they provide environmental information in a very poorly form, and manufacturers can use it for marketing purposes as well. The most important eco-label scheme is the Oeko-Tex standard 100, introduced by an independent international association of EARTFTE textile research, which functions through the fruiting institutes in Europe, the US, and Asia. Over 80,000 certificates were issued worldwide, in 8,000 companies. Since the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 has a comprehensive testing procedure, and because of its organization it's best to enforce it, practically all tags are relying on this process today. There is little difference in the way the label is issued, since all (except eco-tex) are made based on product/textile testing, and in case of eco-tex, the guarantee is given by factory experts. In the first group are eco-labels that are mainly related to the humano-ecological aspect of product quality, i.e. means a certain guarantee that a textile product, in the conditions provided for its use, is not harmful to human health. The second group consists of labels that more comprehensively express the ecological safety of the product, i.e. include the overall life cycle of the product (cradle to grave). It is indisputable that the ecological trend will not stop, but will develop, which should be aware of every textile manufacturer that plans to place its products on the demanding markets of developed countries. It is likely that in a not so distant future, the assessment of environmental reliability will become an integral part of the product declaration.
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