Epson recently became the first company in Japan*1 to receive the Zurich-based International Oeko-Tex Association's Eco Passport certification for sustainable textile chemicals.
Certification was obtained through the Nissenken Quality Evaluation Centre ("Nissenken"), the only certification institute in Japan for Eco Passport. Certified products include the UltraChrome DS ink for the SC-F60, SC-F62, SC-F70, SC-F71, SC-F72, and SC-F92 series' of SureColor dye-sublimation transfer printers, as well as for UltraChrome DG ink and auxiliary fabric preparation products for the SureColor SC-F2000 garment printer.
In Japan, the Eco Passport certification system was launched by Nissenken in June 2016. Following on the heels of the Oeko-Tex Standard 100, a worldwide safety certification system in which textile products are tested for harmful substances, Eco Passport is a new testing and certification mechanism that textile chemical manufacturers and suppliers can use to demonstrate that their colorants, auxiliaries, finishing assistants, and other textile chemicals can be used in safe and sustainable textile production. The Eco Passport initiative seeks to confirm compliance with restrictions enacted in April 2016 on the use of certain arylamines*2 and to ensure the safety and sustainability of chemicals, colorants, and auxiliaries upstream in the textile industry supply chain.
Epson, which offers a range of inkjet printers equipped with the company's powerful Micro Piezo technology, is promoting the digitalization of textile and garment printing. The company's dye-sublimation transfer printers, garment printers, and digital inkjet textile printers enable faithful color reproduction on textiles, which is difficult to achieve with analog printing processes. They also render complicated designs down to the finest details while shortening the printing process.
To enable it to provide the same high level of product quality in any country and region in the world, Epson has established unified quality assurance and product safety management policies. Epson's product safety and environmental compliance requirements are set forth in the Epson Quality Standard (EQS). This comprehensive set of unified standards is implemented across the Epson Group. EQS specifies independent controls that the company widely implements to meet or exceed legal and regulatory requirements in each country.
Epson applied to Nissenken for Eco Passport certification to reassure its customers that its textile products meet international safety standards.
Going forward, Epson will seek to contribute to the development of a sustainable society by providing customer value in the form of reduced environmental impacts across the life cycles of its products and services.
*1 According to Nissenken research as of October 31, 2016
*2 In 1992, the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 for harmful substances in textile products banned the use of certain arylamines that produce carcinogens when they decompose. The use of certain arylamines was legally restricted in Germany in 1994, and thereafter in the E.U., and more recently in China and South Korea. In April 2016, Japan enforced the Act on Control of Household Products Containing Harmful Substances, adding restrictions on the use of certain arylamines.
Oeko-Tex is the world's leading testing and certification system for verifying the safety of textile products.
Oeko-Tex certifications for textile products cover all stages of production, from raw materials to end products. There is also a certification for environmentally friendly production sites. The Oeko-Tex Standard 100 is a certification system for products. In the more than two decades since its inception, more than 150,000 articles have been tested globally. This certification, which is only granted for articles that clear strict criteria for more than 300 harmful substances, also meets international restrictions on harmful substances, including Japan's azo restrictions in textile products. Eco Passport was established as a safety certification system that is applicable further up the supply chain than the Oeko-Tex Standard 100.