Why the need for Global Organic Textile Standard?
If only there was a way to know that the trousers you are wearing or the sheets you sleep in, are not harmful to you and are produced in an environmentally friendly and socially acceptable way. Guess what? There is! And it’s called GOTS.
Skin is our biggest organ and therefore a considerable absorber of substances in our surroundings.
What actually is GOTS: Global Organic Textile Standard?
GOTS stands for The Global Organic Textile Standard. It’s a leading global textile processing standard for organic fibres, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain.
Any product that has a GOTS label must comply with a strict set of requirements, from harvesting of the raw materials, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing up to labelling in order to provide a credible assurance to the end consumer. Generally, a company that is participating in the GOTS certification scheme needs to work in compliance with all criteria of the standard.
It`s a leading global textile processing standard for organic fibres, including ecological and social criteria.
How does GOTS Global Organic Textile Standard work?
First of all, the fibre production must have organic certification based on national or international standards. The processing and manufacturing of the fibres must be environmentally friendly. That means that all stages of the production process must be separated from the production of the conventional fibres, chemicals used must be non-toxic, non-cancerogenic and/or biodegradable. No chlorine bleaching is allowed and the waste water from wet processing must be treated in a functional wastewater treatment plant.
In addition, packaging must be recycled or appropriately certified (no PVC), licensed operators must undergo an onsite annual inspection and additional samples may be taken by auditors and sent for analysis to ISO-accredited labs.
The processing and manufacturing of the fibres must be environmentally friendly.
Moreover, an important range of social criteria demand safe working conditions, non-excessive working hours, no discrimination and fair pay. They also include no forced and child labour and other key norms of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
At the end of the evaluation procedure, a textile product is awarded one of the GOTS labels:
- Label grade 1: “ORGANIC” ≥ 95% certified organic fibres, ≤ 5 % non-organic natural or synthetic fibres
- Label grade 2: “MADE WITH X% ORGANIC” ≥ 70% certified organic fibres, ≤ 30 % non-organic fibres, but a maximum of 10% synthetic fibres (respective 25% for socks, leggings and sportswear), as long as the raw materials used are not from certified organic origin, a sustainable forestry management program or recycled
The only difference is the minimum percentage of “organic” material in the final product. Blending conventional and organic fibres of the same type in the same product is not permitted.
On the official GOTS website, there is also a public database available to check for GOTS certified entities in the supply chain, their location, fields of operation and GOTS certified products according to individual parameters.
So now you know which label to pay attention to when shopping for new linen, towels or just a pair of socks!
Why is Global Organic Textile Standard & other certificates important, for you as well as us? Coming soon… a post on “What is certified organics and why do you want it?”
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