We are excited to announce that TO THE MARKET became Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified this year! After undergoing a rigorous assessment process, we are now able to offer our clients GOTS certified materials in developing their products and include the GOTS logo on their product labeling and packaging.
So, what is GOTS?
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibers. The standard has a clearly defined set of criteria, which includes both ecological and social criteria. Key provisions include a ban on the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), highly hazardous chemicals (such as azo dyes and formaldehyde), and child labour, while requiring strong social compliance management systems and strict waste water treatment practices.
GOTS was developed by leading international standard setters, including the Organic Trade Association (U.S.), Japan Organic Cotton Association, International Association Natural Textile Industry (Germany), and Soil Association (UK) to define globally-recognised requirements that ensure the organic status of textiles, from field to finished product. GOTS is a non-profit organization which is self-financed.
In 2023, GOTS Version 7.0 was released, which features an expanded scope of environmental and social criteria. For example, the social criteria section was substantially revised to include a broader human rights-focused approach and the standard now allows recycled organic fibers as additional materials.
What is involved in a GOTS certification?
To become GOTS certified requires an independent, third-party assessment against the standard. The certification is undertaken by an independent GOTS-approved certification body and, once certified, any GOTS certified facilities are inspected regularly.
Once an entity is certified, goods may only be labeled as ‘GOTS certified’ if the entire supply chain is GOTS certified, that is,for the entire post-harvest processing, including spinning, knitting, weaving, dyeing and manufacturing.So, at TO THE MARKET, we can only label an organic cotton t-shirt as GOTS certified organic when the shirt was manufactured in a factory that is GOTS certified, and made using cotton fiber from a mill/producer that is GOTS certified. All packaging and shipping must also be GOTS compliant. For example, no plastics are allowed in packaging and all products and fibers need to be separated from non-GOTS goods during transportation.
The types of final products that may be GOTS certified may include fiber products, yarns, fabrics, clothes, home textiles, mattresses, personal hygiene products, as well as food contact textiles and more. These can be made with organic raw materials including organic cotton, silk, flax (linen), and wool, and can contain some recycled organic fibers. Importantly, only textile products that contain a minimum of 70% organic fibers can become GOTS certified.
What are the benefits of GOTS certification?
Overall, the benefit of having one common, global standard means textile processors and manufacturers can export their fabrics and garments with one organic certification that is accepted across all major markets.
For companies, GOTS is a comprehensive solution for ensuring compliance with environmental and human rights due diligence along the entire supply chain, from field to finished product. With full traceability from origin to destination, GOTS certification provides an efficient means of verifying genuine sustainability efforts.
For the consumer, from the harvesting of raw materials to responsible manufacturing and labeling, the GOTS certification provides a credible assurance, which gives them the power to choose truly organic products sourced from green supply chains while shopping. Consumers also benefit from having goods made of fibers that are grown with no chemical pesticides, which is better for your skin, and are better for the environment, and for the workers that made your clothes.
At TO THE MARKET, being GOTS certified better enables us to meet our commitment of building a better world by empowering businesses and consumers to harness their purchasing power for good.