Fifty companies in the United States are now certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). Meanwhile, Canada has seven companies certified to the program. GOTS is the stringent voluntary global standard for the entire post-harvest processing—including spinning, knitting, weaving, dyeing and manufacturing—of apparel and home textiles made with organic fiber. The standard includes both environmental and social criteria.
Key provisions include a ban on the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), highly hazardous chemicals such as azo dyes and formaldehyde, and child labor, while requiring strong social compliance management systems and strict wastewater treatment practices. In 2015, more than 3,800 facilities were certified to GOTS in 68 countries. The number of workers reported in 3,419 GOTS certified facilities exceeded 1 million.
GOTS is recognized worldwide as the leading processing standard for textiles made with organic fibers, and COTS certification enables consumers to purchase items that are certified organic from field to finished product. Use of the GOTS logo or reference to GOTS certification may only be made if the conditions of the GOTS Licensing and Labelling Guide are met.
GOTS was developed by four international standard setters—Organic Trade Association (U.S.), Japan Organic Cotton Association, International Association Natural Textile Industry (Germany), and Soil Association (United Kingdom)—which formed an International Working Group to define globally recognized requirements. GOTS operating unit—the Global-Standard gemeinnützige GmbH is a non-profit organization. Visit www.global-standard.org. //