We’ve heard and read about various sustainable certification terms in the past few years, and now more than ever. These certifications are a way to identify the origins and manufacturing processes of different products. While the fashion industry is filled with concepts of sustainable fibres, ethical practices and organic guarantees, one often loses their way in this dictionary of environment-friendly and socially responsible terms. In this article, we explore one of the most important certificates of sustainable practices – GOTS.
What is GOTS?
The Global Organic Textile Standard, popularly known as GOTS, is a leading textile processing standard for organic fibres throughout the world. This standard includes ecological as well as social criteria, which are backed up by independent certifications of the entire textile supply chain.
In simpler words, GOTS is your go-to sustainable certification as it is the most comprehensive and covers the entire process of cloth making –
1. Environmental aspects – cultivation without the use of harmful chemicals and pesticides, synthetic fertilizers or GMO (genetically modified organism)
2. Production aspects – the supply chain, from dyeing and spinning to sewing and manufacturing
3. Social aspects – following labor regulations, decent wages and working hours
This certification depends on a strict criterion of using at least 70% of certified organic natural fibres for processing, manufacturing, packaging, labelling, trading and distribution for a label grade ‘made with organic’. If a textile product wants to carry the GOTS label grade ‘organic’, it must contain at least 95% of certified organic fibres.
The remaining 5-30% of the fibres of the product can be non organic fibers as long as it contains not more than 10% of synthetic fibers - polyster or regenerated. Products such as socks, leggings and sportswear can contain upto 25% synthetic fibers.
There are more than 100 sustainable certifications available in the textile industry alone. Most of the certifications are limited to a certain geographical area, cover a small part of the supply chain and provide a standard of comparison without providing guarantee.
The GOTS certification, on the other hand, is accepted internationally with one framework and one set of criteria. Going through extensive testing at each step of production, a GOTS certified product reduces the overall environmental impact and prevents toxic residues from reaching the human skin. Furthermore, it ensures that workers in the supply chain are treated with respect and provided decent wages.
Becoming a GOTS certified label is not an easy task; one must go through a wide range of tests and quality inspections but the end result is a chemical free, environment friendly and socially responsible product that is sure to give the brand an advantage in worldwide markets.