The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the global leading textile processing standard for organic fibres and includes a variety of environmental and social criteria that are required to be met. It is supported by independent certification of the whole production process.
The purpose and intention of GOTS is to formally and globally define and acknowledge requirements that ensure a complete and accurate “organic” nature.This includes the processes involved with harvesting the raw materials needed, sustainable (both ecological and social) manufacture as well as assurance controls around appropriate labelling and quality assurance to the end user.It also means that textile industries are able to operate under one certification, which is accepted in all major markets.
Given the extent of the different processes involved in textile production, GOTS standards cover the processing, manufacturing, packaging, labelling, trading and distribution of all textiles made from at least 70% certified organic natural fibres.
Environmental criteria form a large part of GOTS.Stringent standards exist around the use of any chemical dyes, any use of heavy metals, formaldehyde, aromatic solvents, functional nano particles, genetically modified organisms (GMO) and their enzymes are strictly prohibited, as is the use of any form of chlorine bleaching.All manufacturers are expected to have strict policies in place to minimise waste, keep full records of their environmental consumption (in terms of water, energy etc) and all packaging material is required to be PVC free, recycled or certified according to FSC or PEFC.
Social criteria is another strong focus of GOTS. This encompasses many elements including safe and hygienic working standards, the absence of child or forced labour, wage protection, working hour limitations and a workplace that is discrimination free and practices equal remuneration for employees.These key components are based around the criteria from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and must be strictly adhered to by all processors and manufacturers.
As with all global standards, there is also a regimented quality assurance system in place.Regular on-site audits, regulation checks and ongoing residue testing form a large part of GOTS compliance.
Companies participating in the GOTS certification scheme must work in compliance with all criteria of the standard and are subject to a rigorous quality assurance system. GOTS relies on a dual system to check compliance with the relevant criteria consisting of on-site auditing and residue testing.
Residue testing involves testing for unwanted residues (as part of the GOTS standard) as well as risk assessment by auditors, who may retrieve samples for independent and external testing.
So there you have it!GOTS is a strict and high quality assurance framework, that ensures quality product, free from toxins that is made in an environmentally and socially sound environment, using packaging that’s ethical, too.We hope that brings you as much peace of mind as it does to us!
For more information on GOTS : http://www.global-standard.org/the-standard/general-description.html