Quality assurance during production
All ALDI textile products have been intensively tested within the scope of our buying process. The Quality Assurance team initiates their work at an early stage, and supports the manufacturers throughout the entire production phase. In addition to legal requirements, we also take several other aspects (guidelines of consumer and environmental organisations) into consideration, which exceed the legal requirements and are consolidated in our ALDI requirements. During the production and delivery process, each supplier is obliged to provide test certificates issued by independent testing institutes confirming that the merchandise is in compliance with these requirements.
Products only go on sale in our stores provided that all requirements have been met and the merchandise meets our high standards. Standard testing methods that play an important role in terms of quality assurance besides various independent tests, which help ensure a consistently high level of quality of ALDI products, are outlined below.
Quality standards and testing applicable to textile products
Fastness to rubbing in compliance with DIN EN ISO 105-X12, textiles – tests for colour fastness
For ALDI, these tests lay the foundations for virtually all of it’s textiles in order to be able to rule out the possibility of soiling or discolouration due to the newness of products. A colour fastness to rubbing test must be conducted, for example, if there is a risk of dark fabrics causing discolouration of light fabrics.
Independent testing institutes notify ALDI and its suppliers immediately upon detecting any deviations from the strict requirements. This enables both ALDI and its suppliers to initiate measures at an early stage so that the textile products can be released on the market in the usual quality.
Colour fastness to rubbing: these tests are applied in order to determine colour bleeding of the sample to be tested (a white standardised cotton fabric). Consequently, fastness to rubbing (dry and wet) is tested using a scale ranging from 1 to 5, whereby 5 is the best score and 1 is the worst score.
Tensile strength of textiles in compliance with DIN EN ISO 13934-1 Determination of maximum force and elongation at maximum force using the strip method
Testing tensile strength is another important component of the ALDI testing programme. These tests ensure that the quality of products in terms of tensile strength and elongation in particular (e.g. shirts) consistently meets ALDI’s high quality requirements. The same applies in these cases: potential deviations can be prevented by testing the merchandise at an early stage.
Tensile properties: this method is applied in order to determine the maximum tear resistance and tear elongation of textile sheeting materials. During testing, the maximum force to seam rupture is determined using the strip method. In addition, elongation at maximum force is determined. The tensile strength is tested in order to minimise the risk of a fabric tearing due to wear and elongation.
Water repellency in compliance with DIN EN ISO 4920 Determination of resistance to surface wetting
The water repellency tests are not carried out as an integral part of the ALDI testing process for textiles by default. However, this testing is mandatory if specific products are advertised as having water-repellent properties or a water-repellent finish. This proactively ensures that all ALDI products live up to the promise of being ‘water-repellent’.
Water repellency properties: This method describes a procedure for determining the water repellency properties of fabrics with or without a water-resistant or water-repellent finish. The water repellency properties are tested in order to ensure that a waterproof jacket is in fact water-repellent, for example.
Product fit testing
By conducting product fit testing, ALDI SOUTH ensures that the customer is provided with perfectly cut and thus well-fitting garments on a permanent basis. The product fit of garments is impacted by the cut of the fabric and the materials used. Therefore, product fit testing is conducted exclusively with the assistance of test persons.
The selection is conducted in such a manner that the body measurements match the clothing sizes to be reviewed. During testing, the garments are evaluated by experienced garment technicians and additionally by test persons who test the products in terms of the fit of the garment in typical postures and the ability of the wearer to move. The product fit testing procedure is conducted by independent and specialised testing institutes.
Increased lifespan of textile products during the phase of use
Careful use of the textiles during the phase of use is as important as their initial quality and robustness at the time of purchase. In order to increase the lifespan of textiles, the correct care of the individual products needs to be pointed out in particular.
Care and use instructions
Soiling, incorrect cleaning, or minor damage to the product often result in high-quality textiles being sorted out or even disposed of. Customers should be made aware of the fact that this is often not necessary or can be prevented. In many cases, few and uncomplicated measures or minor research efforts regarding the correct care of the product are sufficient to enjoy one’s textile products for a long time.
Please find further care and repair instructions as well as creative upcycling ideas within the European Clothing Action Plan (ECAP) with regard to the international ‘Love your clothes’ campaign, which ALDI actively supports as a member.