Chemicals Management

OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 Certification

Third-party certifications provide an added level of product quality assurance. We adopted the OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 certification label, one of the world's best-known labels for textiles tested for harmful substances, to further differentiate our products in the marketplace. We are excited to share that we achieved our 2023 objective, which aimed for achieving the OEKO-TEX STANDARD 100 Certification for most of Carter's and OshKosh apparel products. At the end of 2023, 98% of our product within scope is OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 Certified and 99% of the manufacturing facilities are OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 Certified.
At the end of 2023, 98% of our product within scope is OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 Certified.
In a study conducted by OEKO-TEX11, 53% of participants noted that they were interested in knowing if clothing is certified safe from harmful chemicals, and 45% favor brands that offer clothing that is safe and responsibly produced.

Restricted Substances

Our Restricted Substances List (RSL) designates chemicals that should be minimized or avoided in our apparel and accessories. We have developed our RSL to ensure compliance with government regulation, address health and safety concerns, and avoid potential environmental hazards. We benchmark our RSL against the standards established by the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) and the Apparel and Footwear International RSL Management (AFIRM), as well as ensure compliance with government regulation, health and safety concerns, or potential environmental hazards. Our RSL applies to both our Tier 1 apparel suppliers and our licensees, who are held accountable for meeting our standards and local laws.


We base our RSL testing on the percentage of a vendor’s styles that are not OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 certified. In fiscal year 2023, we saw a 100% passing rate on the 169 styles tested.
In addition to RSL testing, we test against all relevant international, federal, and state regulations, as well as our own proprietary testing protocols. If a product fails our initial testing, we evaluate whether the issue can be remedied or if the product should be destroyed and the order canceled.

MRSL Adoption

In 2023, we continued our alignment journey with the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL). The ZDHC MRSL focuses on consumer safety and helps protect workers, local communities, and the environment from the possible impacts of harmful chemicals by going beyond traditional finished product testing.
In February 2023, we notified our vendors of our MRSL implementation roadmap. Our goal was to have 80% of our fabric volume mills and 80% of our laundry facilities engaged with the MRSL by the end of 2025. Based on our 2023 mill volume, we achieved the fabric yards goal two years early and are making progress on our laundry facilities.

80% fabric yards

produced came from mills engaged with the ZDHC MRSL

58% wash & laundry

facilities used engaged with the ZDHC MRSL

Addressing PFAS in Our Products

We continue to monitor proposed federal and state laws and regulations on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Per our RSL, we do not intentionally add PFAS to our apparel or accessory products and we also proactively conduct total fluorine testing on any product with claims to water resistance or stain resistance.
In 2023, we updated our PFAS testing protocols to measure total fluorine for Carter's sourced apparel and total organic fluorine for Skip Hop non-apparel goods. We work with our supply chain to reduce any trace elements found. We are also expanding the scope of product categories we test, regardless of whether they claim to be water- or stain-resistant. In 2023, all Carter's source products within scope passed testing for PFAS or total fluorine testing.
In 2023, all Carter's source products within scope passed PFAS testing or total fluorine testing.
11 "The Key To Confidence: Consumers and Textile Sustainability—Mindsets, Changing Behaviors, and Outlooks", OEKO-TEX® and Anerca, 2017.