Global Organic Textile Standard
Standards, Certifications & Labels
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is a worldwide textile processing standard for organic fibers that defines requirements for the harvesting of raw materials as well as environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing to create a credible label for consumer recognition. It is backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain. Retailers can access a searchable database that enables them to search for GOTS certified entities in the supply chain and GOTS certified products.
Global Organic Textile Standard International Working Group
Raw materials, manufacturing, transportation
The standard covers the processing, manufacturing, packaging, labeling, trading, and distribution of all textiles made from at least 70% certified organic natural fibers. The final products may include, but are not limited to fiber products, yarns, fabrics, clothes and home textiles. The standard does not set criteria for leather products.
Certification is based on recognized international or national standards—the IFOAM family of standards, EU regulation EEC 834/2007, and the USDA's National Organic Program. Certified textiles must contain a minimum of 70% certified organic fibers to carry the label "made with organic," and 95% certified organic fibers to be labeled "organic.”
All processors, manufacturers and traders in the supply chain of textile goods sold and labeled under GOTS must be GOTS certified by approved certifiers. In order to receive certification they must ensure the respective criteria and licensing conditions of the program are met as laid out in the Global Organic Textile Standard, Version 3.0; the Manual for the Implementation of the Global Organic Textile Standard, and the Licensing and Labelling Guide (see www.global-standard.org/information-centre/downloads.html)
Processors, manufacturers, and traders of GOTS products must undergo annual on-site inspection and certification by an independent accredited body. Inspection methods may include:
Suppliers of chemical inputs may apply for GOTS approval for their dyestuffs and chemicals by submitting a MSDS and potentially additional information, such as lab tests.
Individual cost estimates for the certification are provided by GOTS approved certification bodies to manufacturers based on the operator’s location, size, fields of operation and other relevant factors. Entities with one facility will be responsible for an annual certification cost somewhere between 1200€ and 3000€. License fees for the participation in the GOTS program (120€ per facility) must be paid annually. There is no additional cost for the use of the logo.
Certification is based on an annual on-site inspection of all processing units involved in manufacturing GOTS certified products, including a review of the products.
Strengths: GOTS provides a comprehensive set of environmental criteria for organic textiles. It also includes criteria for socially responsible manufacturing. Compliance is ensured by audits throughout the textile supply chain.
Weaknesses: It does not contain Fair Trade elements.
PACT Apparel, Organic Cotton Plus, Under the Nile, Nirvana Organics
Oeko-Tex Standard 100