What is GOTS? GOTS 101

Global Organic Textile Standard is commonly known as GOTS

GOTS logo displayed on GOTS certified products will have certification number (eg. ONE - 2146)

GOTS logo displayed on GOTS certified products will have certification number (eg. ONE - 2146)

GOTS is a leading textile processing standard for organic fibers, “… including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain.” GOTS was developed with the aim of defining requirements internationally that ensure the organic status of textiles from harvesting of the raw materials through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing all the way to labeling in order to provide a credible assurance to the end consumer.

GOTS covers the processing, manufacturing, packaging, labeling, trading, and distribution of all textiles made from at least 70% certified organic natural fibers. The final products may include but are not limited to fiber products, yarns, fabrics, clothes, and home textiles. The standard does not set criteria for leather products.

There are two GOTS label-grades you can obtain:

Label-grade 1: ‚organic’
≥ 95% certified organic fibers, ≤ 5 % non-organic natural or synthetic fibers

At Gallant, we use Label-grade 1

Label-grade 2: ‚made with X% organic’
≥ 70% certified organic fibers, ≤ 30 % non organic fibers, but a maximum of 10% synthetic fibers (respective 25% for socks, leggings and sportswear), as long as the raw materials used are not from certified organic origin, a sustainable forestry management program or recycled.

Below are some criteria:


Fiber Production

  • Organic certification of fibers on basis of recognized international or national standards (IFOAM family of standards, EEC 834/2007, USDA NOP)

  • Certification of fibers 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 fibers whereas a product with the label grade ‘made with organic’ must contain a minimum of 70% certified organic fibers.                                  


Environmental Criteria

  • At all stages through the processing organic fiber products must be separated from conventional fiber products and must be clearly identified

  • All chemical inputs (e.g. dyes, auxiliaries and process chemicals) must be evaluated and meet basic requirements on toxicity and biodegradability/eliminability

  • Prohibition of critical inputs such as toxic heavy metals, formaldehyde, aromatic solvents, functional nano particles, genetically modified organisms (GMO) and their enzymes

  • The use of synthetic sizing agents is restricted; knitting and weaving oils must not contain heavy metals

  • Bleaches must be based on oxygen (no chlorine bleaching)

  • Azo dyes that release carcinogenic amine compounds are prohibited

  • Discharge printing methods using aromatic solvents and plastisol printing methods using phthalates and PVC are prohibited

  • Restrictions for accessories (e.g. no PVC, nickel or chrome permitted)

  • All operators must have an environmental policy including target goals and procedures to minimize waste and discharges

  • Wet processing units must keep full records of the use of chemicals, energy, water consumption and waste water treatment, including the disposal of sludge. The waste water from all wet processing units must be treated in a functional waste water treatment plant.

  • Packaging material must not contain PVC. Paper or cardboard used in packaging material, hang tags, swing tags etc. must be recycled or certified according to FSC or PEFC


Technical Quality and Human Toxicity Criteria

  • Technical quality parameters must be met (such as rubbing, perspiration, light and washing fastness and shrinkage values)

  • Raw materials, intermediates, final textile products as well as accessories must meet stringent limits regarding unwanted residues


Social Criteria

Social criteria based on the key norms of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) must be met by all processors and manufacturers. They must have a social compliance management with defined elements in place to ensure that the social criteria can be met. For adequate implementation and assessment of the following social criteria topics the listed applicable key conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO) have to be taken as the relevant basis for interpretation.

  • Employment is freely chosen
    C29 - Forced Labour Convention
    C105 - Abolition of Forced Labour Convention

  • Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining are respected
    C87 - Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize Convention
    C98 - Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining Convention
    C135 - Workers' Representatives Convention
    C154 - Collective Bargaining Convention

  • Working conditions are safe and hygienic
    C155 - Occupational Safety and Health Convention

  • Child labour must not be used
    C138 - Minimum Age Convention
    C182 - Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention

  • Living wages
    C95 - Protection of Wages Convention
    C131 - Minimum Wage Fixing Convention

  • Working hours are not excessive
    C1 - Hours of Work (Industry) Convention
    C14 - Weekly Rest (Industry) Convention
    C30 - Hours of Work (Commerce and Offices) Convention
    C106 - Weekly Rest (Commerce and Offices) Convention

  • No discrimination is practiced
    C100 - Equal Remuneration Convention
    C111 - Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention

  • Regular employment is provided
    C158: Termination of Employment Convention
    C175: Part-time Work Convention
    C177: Homework Convention
    C181 Private Employment Agencies Convention

  • Harsh or inhumane treatment is prohibited
    C29 - Forced Labour Convention
    C105 - Abolition of Forced Labour Convention


Certification of the entire textile supply chain

  • Fiber producers (farmers) must be certified according to a recognized international or national organic farming standard that is accepted in the country where the final product will be sold

  • Certifiers of fiber producers must be internationally recognized according to ISO 65 and/or IFOAM accreditation. They also must be accredited to certify according to the applicable fiber standard

  • Operators from post-harvest handling up to garment making and traders have to undergo an annual on-site 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’


Reference:

https://www.global-standard.org/the-standard/general-description.html


At Gallant, all of our products are GOTS certified. Our wholesale tote bags, muslin/drawstring bags, cosmetic bags and more are made with 100% organic cotton.