What is GOTS?
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the world’s leading processing standard for textiles made from organic fibers. GOTS allows for a clearly defined set of criteria that is recognized world-wide to ensure that plants are grown organically and meet environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing requirements. Products can only be GOTS certified when the entire production chain, from farming to the finished product, meets all the requirements. What’s required to be certified? Here’s a high level look at the criteria:
- Textiles must be made with 95% (label grade “organic”) or at least 70% (label grade “made with organic”) certified organic fibers.
- Products cannot be grown or treated with GMO’s or harmful chemicals, like aromatic and/or halogenated solvents, flame retardants, chlorinated benzenes, chlorophenols, complexing agenda and surfactants, endocrine disruptors, formaldehyde, heavy metals and more, for environmental and/or toxicological reasons.
- Dyes must be naturally derived or safe synthetics.
- Organic and conventional fibers cannot commingle at any stage of the supply chain.
Companies must assure compliance with national and local legal environmental requirements applicable to their processing and manufacturing stages performed.
- A written environmental policy and procedures must be in place to allow for monitoring and improving of relevant environmental performances in their facilities.
- Wet processing units must keep full records of the use of chemicals, energy, water consumption and wastewater treatment.
Wastewater from all wet processing units must be treated in an internal or external functional wastewater treatment plant before discharged to the environment.
- Wastewater discharges to the environment must not exceed 20 g COD/kg of processed textile.
- Packaging material must not contain chlorinated plastics. And any paper or cardboard used in packaging material must be recycled from pre- or post-consumer waste or certified according to a program that verifies compliance with sustainable forestry management principles.
- Transportation means routes must be documented.
- Employment is freely chosen, and workers are free to leave their employer after reasonable notice.
- Child labour must not be used.
- Workers have the right to join or form trade unions of their own choosing and to bargain collectively.
- Workers are not discriminated against.
- Working conditions are safe and hygienic.
- Wages and benefits paid for a standard working week meet, at a minimum, national legal standards or industry benchmark standards, whichever is higher.
- Working hours must comply with national laws and benchmark industry standards, whichever affords greater protection.
- No precarious employment is provided.
- Harsh or inhumane treatment is prohibited.
- Companies must have a policy for social accountability to ensure that the social criteria can be met.
Working with a GOTS certified manufacturer allows us to create products that are as organic as possible while integrating sustainable and socially responsible practices throughout the entire production chain. Learn more about the GOTS 5.0 certification here.