Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)
The aim of the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is to define world-wide recognized requirements that ensure the certified organic status of textiles, from the harvesting of the raw fiber, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing up to labeling in order to provide credible assurance to the end consumer. Textile processors and manufacturers are thus enabled to export their organic fabrics and garments with one certification accepted in all major markets.
The GOTS certification system starts with the first processing step in the textile supply chain. For example, for cotton, ginning is the first processing stage, at which seeds are removed from cotton bolls.
The GOTS logo can only be applied to the final product if all stages comply with the GOTS criteria. Therefore, all processors, manufacturers, and traders need to be certified.
There are two GOTS label-grades:
- 'organic' requiring a minimum of 95% organic fibers; and
- 'made with organic materials' requiring at least 70% organic fibers.
GOTS certification most often applies towards fibers, yarns, fabrics, apparel, home textiles, mattresses, personal hygiene products and food contact textiles made with minimum 70% organic fibers.
Note: Organic fiber production (i.e. organic farm certification) is not directly covered by the GOTS certification system, as GOTS itself does not set standards for organic fiber cultivation. Instead, the cultivation of organic fibers is under the scope of organic farming standards, many of them defined by national governments.
GOTS certification is based on on-site evaluations of the entire textile supply chain, including processors, manufacturers, and traders - beginning with the first processor. The GOTS evaluation assesses the processing and manufacturing of textiles on the basis of both environmental and social criteria. This means assessing everything from the chemical inputs being used to the ethical treatment of workers. To become GOTS certified, it is mandatory to meet all of the criteria.
GOTS criteria includes requirements for:
- Organic Fiber Production
- Organic Fiber Material Composition
- Chemical Inputs in all Processing Stages
- Separation and Identification
- Additional Fiber Materials and Accessories
- Environmental Management
- Wastewater Treatment
- Technical Quality Parameters / Limit Values
- Social Criteria
For detailed requirements, see the latest version of GOTS.