In recent years, textile products making antibacterial or antifungal claims have emerged on the market. Antibacterial finishing prevents the growth of bacteria on fibres. On April 1, 2015, SGS Hong Kong and Thailand became the first non-Japanese independent laboratories designated by the Japan Textile Evaluation Technology Council (JTETC) to assess the efficacy of antibacterial finishing on textile products to be labeled with a Sanitary, Eco-friendly and Kindly (SEK) mark. Through this authorization, SGS will be able to support brands and retailers to strengthen their current market position in Japan. This is a strong benefit, resulting from the cooperation with BOKEN Japan who has a long experience testing for SEK.

To deliver reliable information to consumers correctly and effectively, JTETC in Japan has established the SEK product certification mark scheme for antibacterial finished textile products. The mark will help to communicate to consumers that certified textile products meet industry accepted requirements for antibacterial efficacy, safety, labeling and resistance to washing. According to this certification scheme, the SEK certification mark can be labeled on the product to indicate compliance to the SEK certification scheme.

Textile products available for this certification include clothing, bedding and upholstery. Textile items for babies or infants of less than 24 months of age and those applicable to the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act (Law. No 145, 1960) are exempt from using the mark. 

Currently, there are nine types of marks under the SEK scheme. SGS Hong Kong and Thailand have designated laboratories authorized by JTETC to test the antibacterial activity and efficacy for two of the marks, including the blue mark which is the oldest and most widely recognized one.

Type of mark Bacteria tested Testing method Requirement
Antibacterial deodorant
finish (Blue)
Staphylococcus aureus
JIS L 1902 Bacteriostatic value
S ≥ 2.2
(before and after wash*)
Microbial control finish:
general use (Orange)
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Klebsiella pneumonia
  • Escherichia coli (optional)
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa (optional)
  • Moraxella osloensis (optional)
JIS L 1902

Bactericidal value
L ≥ 0
(before and after wash*)

*Number of wash cycles depends on product type, ranging from 0 to10 washes.
For general garments 10 washes are usually required.


For more information, please contact: 

Ruth Hon
SGS Hong Kong Ltd.
4/F, On Wui Centre,
25 Lok Yip Road, Fanling,
New Territories, Hong Kong
t: +852 2774 7151
f: +852 2330 4862 

Bhuwadon Samlam
SGS Thailand Ltd.
41/23 Soi Rama III (59), Rama III Road,
Chongnonsee, Yannawa, Bangkok,
10120 Thailand
t: +66 (0)2 683 0541
f: +66 (0)2 294 8200

About SGS

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 80,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,650 offices and laboratories around the world.