Buyers are often overwhelmed with unwanted information at trade fairs. But the autumn session of Interstoff Asia Essential is going to be different thanks to the release of a publication on eco-certifications and standards. Called Eco-Textile labelling: A guide for manufacturers, retailers and brands, the book is a guide on practical information about the 30 most important existing eco-labels and standards for manufacturers, brands and retailers. Wendy Wen, director of trade fairs at Messe Frankfurt, said that such an initiative had long been needed and the book was the first of its kind in the market. 'There is a lack of knowledge concerning the eco-textile certification,' she said. 'In past fairs, customers kept asking about the types of eco-labels, the differences between them and the way and the cost involved in selling organic cotton fashion to overseas markets.' With all these pressing needs, Ms Wen said that Messe Frankfurt couldn't wait to start working on a project on eco-labelling after Interstoff Asia Essential Spring, which was held earlier this year. As a supporter of this booklet, Messe Frankfurt worked in partnership with Mowbray Communications, the publisher of Ecotextile News and other publications related to eco-textiles. Mowbray Communications was responsible for the research and writing of the guide. The first two sections deal with obligatory and optional organic textile standards respectively. The former outlines the main legal standards for organic textiles, such as the USDA National Organic Programme (NOP) in the United States, the EU: 2092/91 enforced in the European Union and the Japanese Agricultural Standards (JAS). The next section talks about organic textile standards, such as GOTS, OE 100 Blended and IWTO organic wool. Although they were among the optional standards, they were set out in accordance with the obligatory standards, Ms Wen said. For the section on 'eco-textile standards', it mentions Oeko-Tex, Bluesign and Cradle to Cradle which are all regulations not concerning testing on organic standards, but focus on the production processes of textiles and the safety of consumers. With attention growing on corporate social responsibility around the globe, ethical production and fair trade are topics that are included in the guide. Ms Wen said environmentally friendly production had an important impact on the community and there was a chapter to cover related issues, such as SA8000 of the Social Accountability International, and standards of the International Labour Organisation, Fairtrade Labelling Organisation and Fairwear Foundation. Also in the guide is the introduction to some important certification companies such as Control Union, The Institute for Marketecology and OneCert Inc, a glossary about some technical terms, and an overview on different certification standards for readers to do comparisons with greater ease. Ms Wen said the guide would be updated every year and would provide buyers and exhibitors with all the latest information on certifications and standards. 'We will update the guide book if there is any new regulation or change of application procedures,' she said. The book will be distributed exclusively at Interstoff Asia Essential and Texworld Paris, a textile trade fair organised by Messe Frankfurt in France.