The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is a certification for textiles made of organic materials. To get this certification, a product must contain at least 70% organic materials and meet all of the ecological and social well-being criteria outlined by the certifying agency. This includes, but is not limited to, workplace safety, wage gap assessments, wastewater treatment, and limitations on conventional fiber products.
Is it regulated?
Yes. GOTS has created certification bodies to uphold the stringent certification criteria – while any product could apply for certification, not all products will meet the rigorous threshold.
How does it work?
The criteria behind the GOTS certification are based on the International Labour Organization (ILO), United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The GOTS certification offers two label grades – “made with organic materials,” which requires at least 70% organic fiber content, and “organic,” which requires a minimum of 95% organic fiber content.
The GOTS certification also assesses all steps to product creation – including an on-site inspection and certification of the entire supply chain. The certification begins with an assessment of processing, spinning, weaving/knitting, wet-processing, manufacturing, and trading. Then, either the GOTS-approved consultant or the certification bodies review the assessment of these plants. The product then receives certification and must also prove compliance with the social and environmental criteria. The certification expires after one year and the product must recertify to maintain its status as GOTS-certified.
What kind of products have this certification?
Because GOTS is a textile certification, you can find it on all different kinds of textile-based products. From bed sheets to bathrobes, you can look for the GOTS-certified logo to rest easy. We have Wise Guides available for Duvet Inserts, Mattress Pads, Tampons, and more that all look to the GOTS certification to point us in the right direction. You may be asking why organic is important. Organic cotton ensures that the crop is grown without relying on the use of harmful chemicals, leaving the soil, air, and water with fewer contaminants. It also produces around 46% less carbon dioxide compared to conventional cotton, which can contain nasty pesticide residues that can lead to endocrine disruption and cancer. Booyah! Opting for organic can have a whole host of positive benefits on people and the planet – not to mention that GOTS takes it one step further with their social and environmental criteria.
So… is a company “good” if it has this certification?
Unfortunately, not one certification can touch on all of the components that make a company “good” or “sustainable”. For example, GOTS requires a significant threshold of social issue compliance – but its criteria aren’t all-encompassing. GOTS is the leading, most rigorous certification when it comes to organic textiles – and if that’s the number one thing you’re looking for in a “good” company, then you’re in the right place.