Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)
THE standard: from the fibre to the shop
In order to qualify for GOTS certification, every single step of the manufacturing process has to be certified, from cultivation of the raw materials through to final delivery to you or to your organic fashion retailer. So you can be sure your new clothing has been manufactured with respect for people and nature.
Heading: What is certified by GOTS?
Organic raw materials
GOTS-certified textiles must contain at least 70% certified natural fibres from certified organic crop farming or certified organic animal farming. On the garment label this is indicated by appending “(organic)” to the respective fibre. For organic fibres, no synthetic pesticides, insecticides, herbicides or genetically modified organisms can be used.
Environmentally friendly manufacturing
The GOTS standard regulates the entire production process, from raw cotton arriving at the factory through to delivery to the customer. Dyes and auxiliaries must be GOTS-approved. The use of toxic heavy metals, formaldehyde and functional nano-particles is prohibited. Accessories may not contain PVC, nickel or chromium. Any business involved must provide evidence of environmental management, including waste water treatment. The consumption of water and energy must be documented throughout the entire supply chain.
Reasonable working conditions
Fair remuneration and regulated working hours, plus health and safety at work. Protection against harassment, violence and discrimination, no forced or child labour. The GOTS mark ensures these as well as many other standards are applied in the factories where your clothing is manufactured.
For an item to qualify for the GOTS mark, every business in the production and supply chain must be GOTS-certified. If this certification chain is broken, however briefly, the GOTS mark cannot be used. Where part-finished product is transferred from one business to the next, this should be accompanied by GOTS-specific transfer documentation. This means a GOTS-certified product can be traced back to the raw material supplier.
Businesses achieve GOTS certification through independent certification bodies licenced by GOTS. The GOTS certification for LIVING CRAFTS is issued by “Control Union”.
GOTS auditors perform annual audits of all certified companies, where compliance with GOTS criteria is checked thoroughly. GOTS certification is only renewed for another year once the audit has been passed successfully.
GOTS is a dynamic standard. It is continuously being revised by GOTS, so that it always remains state of the art and current standards of science and technology. The current standard is version 6.0.
GOTS – the history
The idea for GOTS came about in 2002. The GOTS standard was then developed by the four founding member organisations and published in 2006. These founding organisations were the “Organic Trade Association” (OTA) from the US, the “Internationaler Verband der Naturtextilwirtschaft” from Germany, “The Soil Association” from Great Britain, and the Japanese “Organic Cotton Association” (JOCA). These four organisations are still behind the Global Standard gGmbH, a non-profit organisation set up in 2008, which manages and constantly develops the GOTS standard.
Even more background
There are plenty more facts and background information on the GOTS website, for anyone wishing to find out more.
The GOTS standard: https://global-standard.org/de/der-standard
GOTS Annual Report: https://global-standard.org/de/dokumentenbibliothek/jahresberichte
GOTS Fact Sheets (EN): https://global-standard.org/de/downloads#factsheets