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Last Updated January 16, 2023
Nowadays, it’s not easy to tell if textile companies claiming to sell organic products are authentic. The prime reason for this is that, unlike food, textile products have several important certifications to claim they are organic. If you are an eco-conscious consumer, you might have heard about the GOTS label on a product.
This article will discuss all about the GOTS label and the essential prerequisites products must meet to receive this certification.
Not to be mistaken with the acronym of a famous American fantasy television series, GOTS, The Global Organic Textile Standard, is an international textile processing standard that assures quality organic fabric for end consumers. To put it simply, a GOTS certification ensures that the product you’re purchasing is made in a sustainable and ethical way, meeting the global standards.
GOTS was created to meet the need for a globally recognized standard for all organic fibers including cotton, wool, silk, and bamboo. In 2002, four organizations comprising the Organic Trade Association of the United States and three other member organizations from the UK, Germany, and Japan together stood up to standardize guidelines for this certification.
In order to be GOTS certified, a product must contain a majority of organic natural fibers. Based on the percentage of organic fiber in the product, there are two GOTS label grades - ‘GOTS organic’ and ‘GOTS made with organic’.
The remaining 5 percent of 'GOTS organic' and to percent of 'GOTS made with organic' label grades comprise recycled synthetic fibers like polyester or regenerated fibers such as lyocell. Recycled synthetic fibers are made using recovered industrial waste from landfills or waterbodies. When compared to virgin synthetic fibers, their production needs less water and fuel. Regenerated fibers are made with natural materials like wood cellulose, which undergoes a chemical manufacturing process, producing fine regenerated fibers. The semi-synthetic fibers are neither natural (cotton or silk) nor synthetic (polyester). However, the final product must be made with a minimum of 70% organic fibers.
To meet the GOTS standard, the entire textile process is monitored closely and strictly. For example, in the case of an organic fiber like cotton to be GOTS certified, firstly, a certification from the governmental organic farming standards is needed to make sure the cotton fibre is grown and farmed without GMO seeds, and the use of any chemicals or pesticides. GOTS approved organic cotton means that the product has been ethically sourced, and monitored strictly during the production process.
Along with the processing as well as manufacturing criteria, there are social criterions that must be followed to meet the GOTS requirements. This includes no child labour, safe and hygenic working conditions, no discrimination. Excessive working hours and inhuman treatment are also prohibited.
During the production process of fabrics, the water and energy usage is closely monitored. GOTS must be provided with the correct information and statistics on how much water and energy they use per kg of textile production. Target goals and procedures are executed to reduce water and energy consumption if they do not meet the GOTS standards.
Here are some important GOTS certification criterias:
From farm to the final product, once the whole process is monitored and meets the GOTS criteria, the product becomes GOTS certified, and manufacturers can use the GOTS label in the final product.
With the rising consciousness about the harmful effects of toxic chemicals in textiles, there is an unusual demand for organic fibers in the world today. Certain chemicals can affect human health and the environment adversely. The GOTS standard limits the use of toxic chemicals like formaldehyde and phthalates, which may emit life-threatening gases. Since there are GOTS certifying agencies in more than 45 countries right now, these products have an extensive appeal and are accepted in major markets worldwide.
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Disclaimer: What is said in this article has been referenced from multiple sources and is intended only for educational and informational purposes. Please note that no content in this article is a substitute for professional advice from a qualified doctor or healthcare provider. Always consult an experienced doctor with any concerns you may have regarding a health condition or treatment, and never disregard any medical suggestions or delay in seeking treatment because of something you read here.
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