Global Organic Textile Standard

Global Organic Textile Standard

The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is a way to measure ecological and social responsibility in the textile community. Products certified by GOTS include fiber, yarns, clothes, home textiles including mattresses, and personal hygiene products, among others.

GOTS Certification enables consumers an accurate way to identify products that are organic and made in socially responsible supply chains. It also enables textile processors and manufacturers a way to market their green products in every major market in the world with an industry accepted transparency.

According to GOTS, their “vision is that organic textiles will become a significant part of everyday life, enhancing people’s lives and the environment.” Their “mission is the development, implementation, verification, protection and promotion of the Global Organic Textile Standard. This standard stipulates requirements throughout the supply chain for both ecological and labour conditions in textile and apparel manufacturing using organically produced raw materials.” Their requirements are “strict” and “binding” on businesses that seek to be recognized under their standard. They are driven by a “respect for both people and the environment”.

GOTS has aligned its certification with the 17 goals adopted by the United Nations on September 25th, 2015 to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. The 17 goals adopted by the United Nations are:

  1. End poverty through fair wages paid to workers.
  2. Zero hunger. Organic crops must be rotated, and organic food must be incorporated.
  3. Good health and well-being by eliminating pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.
  4. Quality education by banning child labour.
  5. Gender equality and absolutely no discrimination based on gender, marital status, or sexual orientation.
  6. Clean water and sanitation through access to potable drinking water and access to clean toilets.
  7. Affordable and clean energy through education and training staff on energy conservation.
  8. Decent work and economic growth by an increasing demand for sustainable clothing.
  9. Industry innovation and infrastructure that prohibits harmful and hazardous processing methods.
  10. Reduced inequalities by eliminating discrimination based on hiring practices and compensation, or on race, caste, religion, gender, or marital status.
  11. Sustainable cities and communities through decent earnings, an absence of harmful chemicals, and limiting overtime so families are able to spend more time together.
  12. Responsible consumption and production by requiring GOTS-certified textiles contain at least 70% certified organic fibre and/or raw materials. Strict environmental and social criteria must also be met.
  13. Climate action that requires the laws for air emissions, waste water, and sludge disposal must be followed.
  14. Life below water must be protected by prohibiting the use of chemicals that are discharged into rivers, streams, and ultimately the ocean. Wastewater must be treated before discharged.
  15. Life on land must be protected by requiring the use of certified organic fibre, which leads to reduced soil degradation, and sustainably certified or recycled paper for packaging.
  16. Peace, justice, and strong institutions through the public protection against violence, physical punishment, corruption, extortion, and bribery. The right to collective bargaining must be respected.
  17. Partnerships for these goals through harmonization with stakeholder organizations including organic farmers, the textile and chemical industries, labour interests, retailers and consumers, and the organizations setting the standards (NGOs) and the governments.

    Standards like GOTS are a way for humanity to learn from its mistakes by taking concrete actions to amend and heal them. As global warming and environmental calamity threaten the life we love on earth, initiatives like GOTS will help steer us away from an unbearable and unthinkable future into a world where people live harmoniously with the earth, the sea, the plants, and the animals that depend upon its wellbeing just as much as we do.

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