What can you expect from a product labelled with GOTS and "organic cotton" and how do you know you're not being "green-washed".
With more and more companies claiming to be "organic", it is increasingly important for consumers to understand what is meant by "organic" and enlighten ourselves - both producers and consumers alike!
GOTS was launched in 2006, and is an off shoot of the International Working Group on Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS).
The International Working Group on Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS) began in 2002 with the purpose of establishing global standards for textile certification that could then be implemented as well as internationally enforced.
The principle bodies in the working group include:
- Soil Association (SA) of England
- Japan Organic Cotton Association
- Organic Trade Association (OTA) from the USA
- International Association of Natural Textile Industry (IVN), Germany
It was in 2006 that these four groups came together with an agreement on how the global standards should work. This led to the release of version one of the GOTS (Global Organic textile standard).
The GOTS (Global Organic textile standard) is now accepted as the leading criteria in which the field of organic textile processing is audited.
The logo is meant to help consumers readily identify genuinely certified
The Global Organic Textiles Standards logo that you will see on the left hand side of our pages is the Earthlings guarantee that the organic cotton used to produce all Earthlings garments and baby products is supplied by a GOTS certified supplier. (Formerly known as SKAL International)
Aim of the standard
The aim of the standard is to define requirements to ensure organic status of textiles, from harvesting of the raw materials, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing up to labelling in order to provide a credible assurance to the end consumer.
The Certification Process
What is important to understand is that the GOTS International Working Group (IWG) set the standards they are not a certifying body.
Certification is carried out by approved certifying bodies. There are several certification bodies that are IWG (International working group) approved.
Names and contact details off all approved certifiers are listed on the GOTS website.
Scope and structure
This standard for organic textiles covers the production, processing, manufacturing, packaging, labelling, exportation, importation and distribution of all natural fibres. The final products may include, but are not limited to fibre products, yarns, fabrics and clothes.
The GOTS standard ensures that all fibres are natural and must be grown organically.
The standard takes the entire production process into account from beginning to end.
What does this mean?
It gives you - the end user - the peace of mind that the clothing you dress your child in has met a strict criteria. Every part of the processing of the end product must meet these criteria.
This includes spinning, weaving, washing, dying etc... and for every step, the standard makes it clear exactly which processing aids may or may not be used.
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