The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the leading standard certification when we refer to organic fabrics. It represents high criteria standards for environmental and social aspects in the supply chain of organic fibers.
The main goal of the certification is to recognize world-wide recognized requirements to guarantee the organic status of textile materials, since harveshing to the manufacturing processes.
The standard covers the processing, manufacturing, packaging, labelling trading and distribution of all the textiles made from at least 70% certified organic natural fibers. The final products may include yarns, fabrics, clothes and home textiles.
For fiber production, the criteria are:
– Organic certification of fibres on basis of recognised international or national standards (IFOAM family of standards, EEC 834/2007, USDA NOP);
– Certification of fibres from conversion period is possible if the applicable farming standard permits such certification;
– A textile product carrying the GOTS label grade ‘organic’ must contain a minimum of 95% certified organic fibres whereas a product with the label grade ‘made with organic’ must contain a minimum of 70% certified organic fibres.
For the processing and manufacturing, the main environmental criteria are: All the materials used during the process should be separated from common fibers, and this should be properly identified; The chemicals inputs should be analyzed and follow basic criteria of toxicology and biodegradability; It is prohibited the use of heavy metals, aromatic solvents, GMOs, functional nano particles, among others; The use of synthetic sizing (gum) agents is restrict; Bleaches can have oxygen origin (not chlorine); Inks and dyes can’t have carcinogenic components, as well as printing that makes use of solvents with aroma and methods that need plastisol, PVC or phthalate; The operations should have ambiental policies as goals and processes that reduce waste and discharges; Wet processing units need to keep records of use of chemicals, energy, water consumption and waste water management; The packaging material can’t contain PVC – paper or cardboard used in packaging materials, hang tags, swing tags must be recycled or certified according to FSC or PEFC. The social criteria in this category are: Employment is freely chosen; Freedom of association and the roght to collective bargaining are respected; Working conditions are safe and hyeginic; Child labour should not be used; Living wages; Working hours are not excessive; No discrimination is practised; Regular employment is provided; Harsh or inhumane treatment is prohibited.
The assurance system of GOTS counts on the certification of the entire supply chain – fibre producers should be certified with international or national organic farming standards; certifiers of fibre producers must be internationally recognized through ISO 65/17065, NOP and/or IFOAM accreditation; Operators from post harvest handling up to garment producers and traders need to go through an onsite annual inpection; Certifiers of processors, manufacturers and traders should be internationally accredited according to ISO 65/17065** and need to have a GOTS accreditation.
LABEL ORGANIC: 95% certified organic fibers and 5 or less of non-certified natural or synthetic fibers;
LABEL MADE WITH X% ORGANIC: 70% certified organic fibers and 30% or less of non organic fobers – with a maximum of 10% of synthetic fibers.