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Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)

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Evaluation Tool

Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)

Tool Category

Standards, Certifications & Labels

At a Glance

GOTS is a worldwide textile processing standard for organic fibres that defines requirements for the harvesting of raw materials, through 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.

Tool Website(s)

www.global-standard.org/

Tool Owner/Sponsor

The International Working Group on the Global Organic Textile Standard is comprised of the International Association Natural Textile Industry (IVN), Germany; Soil Association (SA), England; Organic Trade Association (OTA), USA; and Japan Organic Cotton Association (JOCA), Japan.

Type of Entity

Non-profit

Focus of Evaluation

Products

Product Stage of Life Evaluated

Raw materials, manufacturing, transportation

Impact(s) Evaluated

Ecological health, human health, material impacts, social responsibility (www.global-standard.org/images/stories/gots-version3_01march2011.pdf)

Tool Description

Organic certification of fibers is based on recognized international or national standards e.g. The Council of the European Union's regulation EEC 834/2007 on organic production and labeling of organic products, 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." The final products may include, but are not limited to, fiber products, yarns, fabrics, clothes, and home textiles.

All processors, manufacturers and traders in the supply chain of textile goods sold and labelled 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)

Product Categories

Apparel & Footwear; Furniture; Textiles

Tool Requirements

Companies must provide Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) for the assessment of all chemical inputs (substances and preparations). An approved certifier may also request further sources of information such as additional toxicological and environmental data on specific components of the auxiliary agents, test reports and independent lab analysis. To check compliance with the relevant criteria, users may also be subject to on-site auditing and lab residue testing.

Cost of Tool

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. 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.

Evaluation Frequency

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 and Weaknesses

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.

Examples of Retailers That Use It

Cool Green Attitude, Cooperative Fibrethik, Under the Nile, spunkystork.com, mothering.com

Similar Tools that Serve the Same Industry or Product Category

Oeko-Tex Standard 100

For More Information

International Working Group on Global Organic Textile Standard : mail@global-standard.org.

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