As announced by the trading association ÖkoControl in February 2023, the trading association presented a new network partnership with companies that manufacture ecologically and a new holistic concept for consumer orientation at its annual conference in January 2023.
One of the innovations of the association’s new set-up is now that it will no longer continue the tests and listings according to the criteria of the ÖkoControl seal, which existed for 25 years, but that there is now the new guiding seal “ÖkoControl recommended”. This sustainability recommendation from ÖkoControl provides an overview of trustworthy quality labels that have come onto the market since the ÖkoControl seal was founded and which are now recognised under the “ÖkoControl recommended” concept. These also include the eco-INSTITUT-Label.
In the announcement of the ÖkoControl Association on the repositioning, the wording is as follows:
For more than 25 years, ÖkoControl Verband ökologischer Einrichtungshäuser e.V. had natural furniture, mattresses and bedding of listed manufacturers tested for harmful substances according to the criteria of the in-house ÖkoControl label. The association was thus one of the pioneers in the market. With its ambitious label, it set a process in motion that made it superfluous in the course of time: in the meantime, there are enough renowned quality seals with which manufacturers themselves can document their efforts towards product safety and sustainable business practices in many ways.
Now, at a special conference in Chemnitz, the association has officially said goodbye to the ÖkoControl Label as the final product test and also presented the new orientation. Not only were more than 40 of its members of the association invited, but also selected manufacturers with whom the association has been sharing the goal of sustainability for many years. Instead of listing and testing, the new orientation focuses on a joint appearance of retailers and manufacturers in order to be able to communicate more effectively the importance of ecological furnishings as a building block of a sustainable lifestyle.
“We are not a buying association, but strong as a network of like-minded organic retailers and manufacturers”.
The sign of this partnership will be the new ‘ÖkoControl empfohlen’ [ÖkoControl recommended’] label for manufacturers who can meet the association’s extensive catalogue of criteria. In addition to product testing, the supply chain and sustainable business management will also be considered. Both existing certifications by recognised ecological labels and the fundamental ecological orientation of the company with the recognisable goal of permanent improvement are to be taken into account. Accordingly, ‘ÖkoControl recommended’ does not intend to compete with labels such as Eco-INSTITUT or QUL, but to offer consumers a more holistic orientation.
“ÖkoControl recommended’ is our initiative against greenwashing. Manufacturers who are serious about protecting people, the environment and health are welcome to join us.”
The new orientation has been received positively across the board by ÖkoControl dealers and a good dozen manufacturers are already part of the network.