Global Organic Textile Certificate (GOTS)
Global Organic Textile Certificate (GOTS) is recognized as the world´s leading processing standard for textile products made from organic fibers. It defines high-level environmental criteria throughout the entire organic textile supply chain and makes it compulsory to comply with various social criteria.
A textile product must contain at least 70% organic fiber in order to be GOTS certified. All chemical inputs, such as dyes and excipients used, must meet certain environmental and toxicological criteria. Accessory ion is also limited according to ecological factors. A functional wastewater treatment plant is mandatory for any relevant wet processing unit and all processors must meet social criteria.
The purpose of the Global Organic Textile Certificate is to define the requirements that ensure the organic status of textile products, from the collection of raw materials to the final stage of production, to provide assurance to the end consumer. In this way, textile processors and manufacturers can export organic fabrics and clothing with the GOTS certificate accepted in all major markets.
Global Organic Textile Certificate Criteria
The standard covers the processing, production, packaging, labeling, trade and distribution of textiles made from organic organic fibers certified at least 70%. Final products include fiber products, yarns, fabrics, garments and home textiles. However, the scope of the standard is not limited to these. It is also worth noting that there are no criteria for leather products in the Global Organic Textile Certificate.
According to the Global Organic Textile Certificate, the basic criteria for fiber production can be defined as follows:
• Organic certification of fibers according to national or international standards (IFOAM standard family, EEC 834/2007, USDA NOP)
• If the applicable agricultural standard allows such certification, it is possible to confirm the conversion time of the fibers.
• According to GOTS, a textile product bearing an "organic" label must contain at least 95% certified organic fiber. If it carries the "Made with organic product" label, the product must contain at least 70% certified organic fiber.
We can list the most important ones among the environmental criteria of Global Organic Textile Certificate as follows:
• Organic fiber products must be separated from traditional fiber products during processing and must be clearly defined.
• All chemical inputs (eg dyes, excipients and process chemicals) should be evaluated and meet the essential requirements for toxicity and biodegradability.
• Prohibition of critical inputs such as toxic heavy metals, formaldehyde, aromatic solvents, functional nanoparticles, genetically modified organisms (GMO) and their enzymes.
• The use of synthetic sizing agents is limited; knitting and weaving oils should not contain heavy metals.
• Bleaching agents should consist of oxygen.
• Azo dyes that release carcinogenic amine compounds are prohibited.
• Abrasion printing methods and phthalates made using aromatic solvents and plastisol printing methods using PVC are prohibited.
• There are some restrictions for accessories (eg PVC, nickel or chrome is not allowed.)
• All operators must have an environmental policy that includes objectives and procedures to minimize waste.
• Wet processing units should keep complete records of the use of chemicals, including sludge discharge, energy, water consumption and wastewater treatment. Wastewater from all wet processing units must be treated at a functional wastewater treatment plant.
• The packaging material should not contain PVC.
One of the most important parts of the Global Organic Textile Certificate is social criteria. All processors and producers must meet these criteria based on the International Labor Organization´s (ILO) basic norms. In addition, in order to meet social criteria, they must have a social compliance management with specified elements. The social criteria specified in the Global Organic Textile Certificate are:
• Forced labor is prohibited.
• Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining are respected.
• Working conditions are safe and hygienic.
• No form of child labor is acceptable.
• Salaries should be determined so that employees can sustain their lives.
• There should be a certain limit during working hours; legal working hours should not be exceeded.
• There should be no discrimination among workers in the work areas.
• Regular employment is provided.
• Hard or inhuman treatment of employees is prohibited.
Quality Assurance System in Global Organic Textile Certificate
Companies participating in the GOTS certification program should work in accordance with all criteria of the standard. GOTS has a dual quality assurance system consisting of on-site inspection and residue testing to check compliance with relevant criteria. In this context, the following criteria should be considered for the certification of the entire textile supply chain:
• Fiber producers (farmers) must be certified according to a recognized national or international organic farming standard accepted in the country where the final product will be sold.
• Certificates of fiber producers must be recognized internationally with ISO 65/17065, NOP and / or IFOAM accreditation. They must also be accredited to be certified according to the current fiber standard
• The production of clothes without post-harvest handling, the traders´ annual inspection cycle, the production and trade of textile products to be certified should be done according to a standard within the scope of GOTS.
• Certificates of processors, manufacturers and traders must have international accreditation according to ISO 65/17065.