Global Organic Textile Standard : GOTS
I know. Sounds a bit dry, doesn’t it? But it’s not.
When the whole world (!) can come together and agree on a system to make textiles in an ecologically sustainable way but also to include social requirements for the people working for the industry. That’s a beautiful thing.
Ecology and Social Responsibility are at the heart of the Global Organic Textile Standard. When you purchase a GOTS certified item you know it is organic, but there is much more. Workers involved in textile production at GOTS certified facilities are not underage, have the right to organize, make a living wage and their workplace is safe and hygenic. I know, kid of a big deal, right? Even the machinery GOTS textiles are made on must meet efficiency standards. Wastewater or greywater produced has strict treatment requirements, too.
The textile industry is international, having all levels of production throughout the world. It’s impressive that this variety of people across levels of manufacture have agreed to uphold this high standard. It took many years of development, but by December of 2008 almost 2000 facilities were certified according to GOTS and by 2010 there were well over 2,800. Thank you, International Working Group on Global Organic Textile Standard!
Ethical Fashion and Sustainable Fashion are buzzwords in the textile and fashion industry today, consider the Red Carpet, Green Dress project at the Academy Awards. Really though, we can’t truly achieve either of those without Social Accountability. Certainly buying GOTS certified textiles to make our fashionable and fun designs puts us on the right track. The International Working Group on Global Organic Textile Standard has produced a short film outlining the Global Standard’s ecological and social requirements. It’s only 3 minutes and gives a great overview of the entire process. Want to find out even more? Learn the specifics about GOTS standard requirements, from the group that developed it here.
What’s the future for GOTS standard? PVC free and recycled packaging! Yes. From 2014, any paper or cardboard used in packaging material or hang tags must be post-consumer recycled or certified according to FSC or PEFC. Sustainable right down to the tag.
Some other GOTS related resources here:
Daisy Janie: GOTS, Organic Cotton and other links Organic Trade Association: What are Organic Products and how to Label Them.