You may wonder: ‘what is GOTS?’ GOTS means Global Organic Textile Standard and it has been the international standard for ecological textiles in more than 60 countries around the world since 2006. The aim of the standard is to define worldwide-recognized requirements that ensure the organic status of fabrics and clothes. In my opinion fashion brands need to step up their game and have to start using GOTS certified textiles more. Why? I will explain this to you in this article.
The GOTS standard has set down requirements throughout the whole supply chain for both ecological and labor conditions in textile and clothes manufacturing using organically produced raw materials such as cotton, silk, wool, and linen. For clothing, this means the process from fiber to sewing of the garment. Textile processing results in the often inadequately treated discharge of toxic chemicals into the air and water, as well as in harmful workplace situations. A quarter of all agricultural pesticides is used in cotton farming.
GOTS prohibits the use of chemicals commonly used in textile processing that can cause cancer, birth defects and other serious illnesses. Chemicals in general, destroy the eco-system and biodiversity on an international scale. GOTS requires that all dyes are assessed to its strict criteria and approved prior to their usage. We all share the same water and air on this planet and most importantly, the people making our clothes deserve our respect, right?
Don’t Panic, It´s Organic!
Organic fibers come from a production that is based on farming that maintains and replenishes soil fertility without the use of toxic, persistent pesticides, and fertilizers. Besides that, organic production relies on animal welfare and excludes genetic modification. The GOTS has two types of labels: ‘organic’ and ‘made with organic’. The difference between the two GOTS labels is that having the label ‘organic’ have to contain a minimum of 95% certified organic fibers while ‘made with organic’ clothes contain a minimum of 70% certified organic fibers, but only with a maximum of 10% synthetic fibers. You can recognize GOTS certified clothes by the GOTS logo with the label ‘organic’ or ‘made with organic’ on the care label inside.
Ecology & Social Responsibility
The GOTS is not only about organic fibers. The standard has also set requirements for factories making use of harmful chemicals. The production of textile accounts for 10% of the global CO2 emissions, and almost half of the waste water problems in the world has to do with the regular textile production. For the production of clothing, huge amounts of water are needed. When operating under GOTS certification, factories are obliged to have a sustainable water system and they have to commit to preserve water and energy as much as possible. GOTS also includes criteria regarding labor conditions, based on the standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO). This also includes the right to freedom of association and the right to safe and healthy working conditions for the laborers.
Why We Love GOTS Certified Products:
• No use of genetically modified seeds
• No use of toxic, persistent pesticides, and fertilizers
• Retains water and energy more efficiently
• Safe and healthy working conditions for the laborers
• Laborers receive a living wage
Brands Which Works With GOTS Certified Fibers:
By choosing for products and clothes that are GOTS certified you help creating a fairer, cleaner and slower world. Below I wrote down a small list of slow fashion brands that work with GOTS certified textiles.
Yoni is the name of 100% GOTS certified organic cotton tampons, pads and panty liners. There is no perfume added, plastic or anything else added to the products, just organic cotton! For now, YONI ships to The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and UK.
In the comments below, I would love to hear your favorite brands that use GOTS certified materials!
Laura recently graduated with a Bachelor in Fashion & Textile Technologies. While writing her final thesis for a sustainable Dutch brand, she decided not to take part in the fast fashion industry any longer. That’s why she will open her online-store ‘Take It Slow’ with only the coolest sustainable fashion brands, launching summer 2017. By opening her online store Laura hopes to encourage the modern Dutch women to buy Fair Trade and sustainable fashion items. Meanwhile Laura likes to share her thoughts about slow fashion on Mochni and works part-time for Nukuhiva a Fair Trade fashion- and lifestyle store in Amsterdam.