It is no secret that consumers are becoming increasingly interested in adopting a more sustainable lifestyle. Whether it’s reducing their usage of single-use plastics or purchasing more seasonal produce, many consumers want to know that they are making a difference.
Another way that consumers can help the environment is by purchasing products made from organic textiles. Nowadays, it is hard to tell if companies claiming to use organic textiles are authentic. This is because there are several certifications and many of these do not ensure that the product is organic from farm to finish.
One of the more credible and trustworthy sustainable certifications that a product can possess is the GOTS certification. In this article, we will detail what it means for a product to be GOTS certified.
Tip: GOTS certified products are a great start to creating a more sustainable home.
What is GOTS?
The Global Organic Textile Standard, more commonly known as GOTS, is a leading processing standard for organic fibers in the global textiles industry. The aim of this comprehensive certification is to ensure the organic status of textiles throughout the entire supply chain.
Throughout the entire organic textiles supply chain, high-level environmental and social criteria need to be adhered to. This includes the harvesting of raw materials, manufacturing, and packaging of the final product.
GOTS is your go-to sustainable certification. Below are three aspects that the GOTS certification takes into consideration:
- Environmental - cultivation without the use of harmful chemicals, pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
- Production - all areas of the supply chain, including harvesting, dyeing, spinning, manufacturing, and labeling
- Labour - ethical work conditions, following labor regulations, fair wages, and decent working hours
Why the Global Organic Textile Standard?
In the textile industry, there are over 100 sustainable certifications. As previously mentioned, not all of these certifications guarantee that the product you’re purchasing was sustainably and ethically produced. Many of these certifications cover a small part of the supply chain or are limited to a certain geographical area.
The GOTS certification, however, is an internationally accepted framework. It was founded by four well-renowned organizations: Internationaler Verband der Naturtextilwirtschaft (IVN), Japan Organic Cotton Association (JOCA), Organic Trade Association (OTA), and The Soil Association. The first two organizations are part of the textile industry, while the second two are organic organizations focused on organic agriculture and food.
Together, these organizations developed GOTS - an individual processing standard for organic textiles. The GOTS certification is considered credible by many as it draws on the advice of experts and relevant international stakeholders.
How Does a Product Obtain a GOTS Certification?
Obtaining a GOTS certified label is not an easy task. A wide range of tests and quality inspections need to be conducted. While it is a lengthy process, the end result is a chemical-free, environmentally friendly, and socially responsible product. Below are the basic requirements a product must meet to obtain this certification:
- Must contain a minimum of 95% organic fiber
- Must not be treated with bleach, formaldehyde, or any other toxic substances
- Must not be colored with any toxic dyes
- Must be produced in a mill that enforces strict environmental and social standards.
A GOTS certification ensures that the highest standards are met and that your product has been ethically sourced and strictly monitored throughout the production process.
Why Choose GOTS Certified Organic Cotton?
There are a number of reasons why you should choose organic cotton, the most prominent being that it is better for our planet. The World Economic Forum has identified water scarcity as one of the top global risks to society over the next decade.
The growing and farming of cotton takes place mostly in countries facing water shortages. Organic cotton, however, has fewer negative impacts on water supply as it is grown in rain-fed areas. This means that farmers rely on rain to water the cotton instead of extracting water from the ground.
GOTS organic cotton is also produced using natural methods like composting, allowing for healthier soil. Healthy soil is important as it soaks up water during floods and holds it for longer during droughts.
Moreover, the GOTS certification ensures that no hazardous synthetic pesticides or toxic chemicals are used. Diluting these pesticides involves a lot of water. In the farming of organic cotton, the use of these substances are banned altogether.
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Start Saving the Planet with GOTS Certified Fabrics
As consumers, we often aim to make decisions that are best for ourselves and our families. These decisions include the food we consume, the clothes we wear, and the environments in which we live. What many people do not realize is that these decisions can also have a positive impact on our planet.
When you’re shopping for products, be sure to keep an eye out for the green GOTS certified label. This way, you know that the product you have purchased is sustainably and ethically sourced and that it will have a positive impact on others and the environment.
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