We know how important it is to be sure that what you’re buying is safe and of the best quality. We also know how difficult it is to find the necessary information – that’s why we’ve done the research for you.
When selling products within the European market, a CE Mark is necessary. A CE Mark is a mandatory European conformity mark that certifies that a product meets the essential requirements. Without this, products cannot be sold on the single market in the European Economic Area (EEA) While the CE Mark is ultimately the main thing that businesses and consumers within the EU look for when buying, it is more of a compliance than an actual certification; often CE Marking can be achieved through self-certification, and does not necessarily need a licence to do so. Though you do need to go through 4 stages before getting CE Marking, as discussed on the European Union website.
It is important to gain CE Certification through the correct authorities to ensure that everything is safe and of a good enough quality for possible buyers. Part of the process for gaining CE Certification is ensuring that the materials you use are compliant with the European Standard (EN). The European Standard tests for a number of things including mechanical and physical properties, flammability and organic chemicals. The European Standard (EN17) is one of the main authorities for textiles products in the UK, along with OEKO TEX.
OEKO TEX is an independent certification system for the textile chain, ensuring that every part of the manufacturing process is sustainable, legal and ethical. According to their description, they make an ‘important contribution to the development of high-quality textile and leather products at all stages of the value-creation chain’. OEKO TEX is another standard widely used in the UK as it is spread across Europe and Japan. This system has six different standards that all certify different requirements. Some are shown on labels so the consumer is aware of what they are buying and how it has been made (Made in Green standard – this standard is the highest standard; it requires a Standard 100 or Leather Standard and STeP. This means the textile is traceable and has been tested for harmful chemicals during the entire manufacturing process). Other standards are not shown on labels as they are standards which are more useful for business to business communication (STeP). OEKO TEX also has a label check so you can check what certification your product has if it is certified through their system.
Even though we are a UK based company, some of our products are supplied from outside of Europe so they use the US certification system CPSIA. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act was signed into law by George W Bush in 2008. It allows the CPSC  (Consumer Product Safety Commission) to better regulate product safety and contains regulations to protect children under the age of 12. The CPSIA is very useful when regulating what can be used on children’s toys and infant’s clothing as they thoroughly test for harmful chemicals, make recalled products illegal to sell and require certificates of safety.
Within our company, we have materials coming from different suppliers and different places, many of which use different systems to accredit the safety of their products. One of these systems is SGS who, along with EN17, OEKO TEX and CPSIA, ensure the safety of our materials.
While all of our vinyl products have certification, it is important to remember that two separate materials/ products can be certified/ CE marked but when put together, that new product is not necessarily certified/ CE marked. You would have to do CE Marking on that new product.
Most of our suppliers have provided us with the certification information; this can be provided to you on request.
Please be aware that we believe all information provided to be correct at the time of publication however, it is possible that the information could change as systems are updated.