In the future, ecological and socially responsible textile production is to become a matter of course in the fashion industry. Accordingly, the GOTS logo and licensing system should offer consumers credible quality assurance. In an interview with Luna Journal, Franziska Dormann, GOTS representative in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, explains, among other things, what the GOTS seal stands for and in which countries certification can be applied for.

What does the Global Organic Textile Standard stand for?

The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is recognised as the world´s leading textile processing standard for the entire processing of clothing and home textiles made from certified organic fibres (such as organic cotton and wool). From post-harvesting to spinning, weaving, dyeing, wet-processing and manufacturing, the standard covers all processing-stages, from field to fashion!

How can interested organisations apply for certification? And how much does it cost?

Textile processing, manufacturing and trading organisations can apply for certification to the Global Organic Textile Standard. Companies interested in getting GOTS-certified, are asked to contact one of the GOTS-approved certification bodies, listed on our website. The Certification Bodies are accredited by GOTS and familiar with the GOTS quality assurance system. The Certification Bodies can provide information on the procedure and timeline, the application and inspection as well as the certification process. Further they can give an estimation of the cost of certification, considering the size of business, the field of operation and other relevant factors.

Which criteria must companies fulfil to receive GOTS certification?

GOTS guarantees high-level environmental criteria along the entire organic textiles supply chain and requires compliance with social criteria as well. 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.

A company participating in the GOTS certification process must meet all criteria of the standard. GOTS relies on a dual system to check compliance with the relevant criteria consisting of on-site auditing and residue testing.

What percentage of organic fibres must be used to receive certification to GOTS?

The Standard covers the processing, manufacturing, packaging, labelling, trade and distribution of all textiles made from at least 70% certified natural organic fibres. The final products may include, but are not limited to fibre products, yarns, fabrics, clothes and home textiles. A textile product with the GOTS-label grade “organic” must contain at least 95% certified natural organic fibres, a product with the label “made with x% organic” at least 70%.

In which countries can be applied for GOTS-certification?

All GOTS accredited certifiers are allowed to provide inspection and certification services worldwide, and each applicant is free to choose an accredited certification body. Some certifiers operate local offices or work with local representatives in different states, while others coordinate all services through their headquarters.

What are the benefits of a GOTS-certification for the certified organisation?

Companies which hold a GOTS Scope Certificate can advertise the certification and thus compliance with strict environmental and social criteria. However, they must avoid giving the impression that all their products are certified if this is not the case. They must also ensure that no confusion between certified and non-certified products in labelling, publications and advertising arises. Thereby the consumer can rely on a fair production according to the standard. Certified companies are also listed in our Public Database on the GOTS-website. For a certified company or retailer, the standard guarantees traceability of GOTS-certified textiles and compliance with strict ecological and social requirements along the entire textile supply chain! Through the inspection of compliance with strict social and environmental criteria, from field to fashion, GOTS ensures safety and transparency for the consumers. The independent certification with GOTS assures credibility in comparison to unverified statements.

 Does GOTS-certification cover the entire value chain of a product?

The quality assurance is given through independent certification of the entire textile supply chain. The standard covers processing, manufacturing, labelling, trade and distribution of all textiles made from at least 70% natural organic fibres.

What position does GOTS hold worldwide?

The Global Organic Textile Standard is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for natural organic fibres.

What new developments can be observed?

The Standard is subject for revision every three years, in order to further develop the strict and binding ecological and social criteria. The international working group has developed an innovative concept for participation of international stakeholder organisations in the development and revision process. The standard is due for revision and the new Version GOTS 6.0 and the according Implementation Manual will be released in spring 2020.


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Image: GOTS