What it Means to be GOTS Certified

Why GOTS?

Becoming GOTS certified (or Global Organic Textile Standard) is by no means easy, but to us, it is imperative. GOTS helps ensure that our organic cotton is sourced in the most ethical and sustainable ways. 

What is GOTS?

The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the world's leading textile processing standard for organic fibres, including ecological and social criteria, backed by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain. The goal of the standard is to define world-recognized requirements that ensure organic status of textiles, from the harvesting of the raw materials, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing up to labelling in order to provide credible assurance to the consumer. Textile processors and manufacturers are enabled to export their organic fabrics and garments with one certification accepted in all major markets.

 

What is the criteria? 

The standard covers the processing, manufacturing, packaging, labelling, trading and distribution of all textiles made from at least 70% certified organic natural fibres. The final products may include, but are not limited to fibre products, yarns, fabrics, clothes and home textiles. The standard does not set criteria for leather products.

 Fibre Production

The key criteria for fibre production can be identified as:

  • Organic certification of fibres on the basis of recognized international or national standards (IFOAM family of standards, EEC 834/2007, USDA NOP)
  • Certification of fibres from conversion period is possible if the applicable farming standard permits such certification
  • A textile product carrying the GOTS label grade ‘organic’ must contain a minimum of 95% certified organic fibres whereas a product with the label grade ‘made with organic’ must contain a minimum of 70% certified organic fibres
Processing and Manufacturing

The key criteria for processing and manufacturing includes environmental criteria, technical quality and human toxicity criteria.

At all stages through processing, organic fibre products must be separated from conventional fibre products and must to be clearly identified. All chemical inputs (e.g. dyes, auxiliaries and process chemicals) must be evaluated and meeting basic requirements on toxicity and biodegradability. 

  • Prohibition of critical inputs such as toxic heavy metals, formaldehyde, aromatic solvents, functional nano particles, genetically modified organisms (GMO) and their enzymes
  • The use of synthetic sizing agents is restricted; knitting and weaving oils must not contain heavy metals
  • Bleaches must be based on oxygen (no chlorine bleaching)
  • Azo dyes that release carcinogenic amine compounds are prohibited
  • Discharge printing methods using aromatic solvents and plastisol printing methods using phthalates and PVC are prohibited
  • Restrictions for accessories (e.g. no PVC, nickel or chrome permitted)
  • All operators must have an environmental policy including target goals and procedures to minimize waste and discharges
  • Wet processing units must keep full records of the use of chemicals, energy, water consumption and waste water treatment, including the disposal of sludge. The waste water from all wet processing units must be treated in a functional waste water treatment plant.
  • Packaging material must not contain PVC. Paper or cardboard used in packaging material, hang tags, swing tags etc. must be recycled or certified according to FSC or PEFC 

Technical quality parameters must be met (s.a. rubbing, perspiration, light and washing fastness and shrinkage values)

Raw materials, intermediates, final textile products as well as accessories must meet stringent limits regarding unwanted residues

Minimum Social Criteria

  • All processors and manufacturers must meet minimum social criteria based on the key norms of the International Labour Organization (ILO). They must implement social compliance management with defined elements to ensure that the social criteria can be met. The applicable key conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO) listed must be used as the relevant basis for interpretation for adequate implementation and assessment of the following social criteria topics.

    - Employment is freely chosen

    - C29 - Forced Labour Convention

    - C105 - Abolition of Forced Labour Convention

    - Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining are respected

    - C87 - Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize Convention

    - C98 - Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining Convention

    - C135 - Workers' Representatives Convention

    - C154 - Collective Bargaining Convention

    - Working conditions are safe and hygienic

    - C155 - Occupational Safety and Health Convention

    - Child labor must not be used

    - C138 - Minimum Age Convention

    - C182 - Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention

    - Living wages

    - C95 - Protection of Wages Convention

    - C131 - Minimum Wage Fixing Convention

    - Working hours are not excessive

    - C1 - Hours of Work (Industry) Convention

    - C14 - Weekly Rest (Industry) Convention

    - C30 - Hours of Work (Commerce and Offices) Convention

    - C106 - Weekly Rest (Commerce and Offices) Convention

    - No discrimination is practiced

    - C100 - Equal Remuneration Convention

    - C111 - Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention

    - Regular employment is provided

    - C158: Termination of Employment Convention

    - C175: Part-time Work Convention

    - C177: Homework Convention

    - C181 Private Employment Agencies Convention

    - Harsh or inhumane treatment is prohibited

    - C29 - Forced Labour Convention

    - C105 - Abolition of Forced Labour Convention

Certification of the entire textile supply chain

 

- Fibre producers (farmers) must be certified according to a recognized international or national organic farming standard that is accepted in the country where the final product will be sold

- Certifiers of fibre producers must be internationally recognized according to ISO 65 and/or IFOAM accreditation. They also must be accredited to certify according to the applicable fibre standard

- Operators from post-harvest handling up to garment making and traders have to undergo an annual on-site inspection cycle and must hold a valid GOTS operational certificate applicable for the production / trade of the textiles to be certified

- Certifiers of processors, manufacturers and traders must be internationally accredited according to ISO 65 and must hold a ‘GOTS accreditation’ in accordance with the rules as defined in the ‘Approval Procedure and Requirements for Certification Bodies’

We offer GOTS certified products across all of our product categories. To shop all GOTS certified YaYa & Co. products, click here

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