The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibers, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain.
The aim of the standard is to define world-wide recognized requirements that ensure organic status of textiles, from harvesting of the raw materials, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing up to labeling in order to provide a credible assurance to the end consumer. Textile processors and manufacturers are enabled to export their organic fabrics and garments with one certification accepted in all major markets.
Scope and structure
This standard for organic textiles covers the production, processing, manufacturing, packaging, labelling, exportation, importation and distribution of all natural fibres. The final products may include, but are not limited to fibre products, yarns, fabrics and clothes.The standards focus on compulsory criteria only.
The consensus of the International Working Group was that a clear and unambiguous understanding of the content required that the Global Standard itself focuses on compulsory criteria only. The standard covers the processing, manufacturing, packaging, labe
lling, trading and distribution of all textiles made from at least 70% certified organic natural fibres. The final products may include, but are not limited to fibre products, yarns, fabrics, clothes and home textiles. The standard does not set criteria for leather products.
Key Criteria for Fibre Production
The key criteria for fibre production can be identified as:
- Organic certification of fibres on basis of recognised international or national standards (e.g. EEC 834/2007, USDA NOP)
- Certification of fibres from conversion period is possible if the applicable farming standard permits such certification
- A textile product carrying the GOTS label grade ‘organic’ must contain a minimum of 95% certified organic fibres whereas a product with the label grade ‘made with organic’ must contain a minimum of 70% certified organic fibres
Processing and Manufacturing
The GOTS certification also defines environmental criteria; technical quality and human toxicity criteria and social criteria. For a detailed list of all the criteria which are audited by the Control Union please click here.
Certification of the entire Textile Supply Chain
- Fibre producers (farmers) must be certified according to a recognised international or national organic farming standard that is accepted in the country where the final product will be sold
- Certifiers of fibre producers must be internationally recognised according to ISO 65 and/or IFOAM accreditation. They also must be accredited to certify according to the applicable fibre standard
- Operators from post-harvest handling up to garment making and traders have to undergo an onsite annual inspection cycle and must hold a valid GOTS operational certificate applicable for the production / trade of the textiles to be certified
- Certifiers of processors, manufacturers and traders must be internationally accredited according to ISO 65 and must hold a ‘GOTS accreditation’ in accordance with the rules as defined in the ‘Approval Procedure and Requirements for Certification Bodies’
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