The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is recognized as the world's leading standard for the processing of textiles made from organically produced natural fibres. At a high level, it defines environmental requirements alongside the entire textile production chain and at the same time demands compliance with social criteria. This is regularly checked on site in the production facilities by independent certification agencies. At the end of the day the consumer should be given security by the GOTS label on the product when making a purchase, since only products that meet these requirements are allowed to carry the GOTS logo.
Cotton that meets the GOTS criteria is grown organically. No pesticides or other pollutants are used that harm the environment and the health of the farmers. In addition, only natural fertilizers are used. Chemical defoliants to facilitate mechanical harvesting are not used, the cotton is picked by hand.
All parts of the production chain from cultivation to the finished garment must be GOTS certified in order for the GOTS logo to be used. All chemical additives used, such as dyes and auxiliaries, must meet certain environmentally relevant and toxicological criteria. Corresponding requirements also apply to the use of accessories. The knitting, weaving, dyeing and finishing of the fabrics must be environmentally friendly; only substances and processes approved by the GOTS may be used. The following must be observed:
- No bleaching with chlorine, but on an oxygen basis
- No optical brighteners
- Only dye with dyes approved by GOTS
- Printing with water-based colours
- The wastewater must be treated in a sewage treatment plant
The social standards
In addition to the sustainable manufacturing of textiles, the GOTS also takes social standards in the production chain into account. These are based on the criteria of the International Labor Organization (ILO), which include the following:
- Payment of living wages
- Health and safety protection in the workplace
- Social security and employment contracts
- No discrimination
- Prohibition of child and forced labor
- Right to freedom of organization and collective bargaining