Global Organic Textile Standard expands

The number of facilities certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) kept on growing last year, increasing from 3,663 facilities in 2014 to 3,814 facilities in 2015.

GOTS certified facilities are now located in 68 countries around the world, up from 63 in 2014. Growth is evenly spread across all market segments including the mass market and the big brands. GOTS is recognized worldwide as the leading processing standard for textiles made with organic fibers, and GOTS certification enables consumers to purchase items that are certified organic from field to finished product, it said in a press release.

GOTS

India tops the list of countries or regions with the largest increase in GOTS certification in 2015 with +74, followed by Europe (+58), Turkey (+27) and Bangladesh (+21). The Top 15 countries in terms of the total number of GOTS certified facilities are: India (1,441), Turkey (489), Germany (306), Bangladesh (210), China (201) Pakistan (142), Italy (141), Portugal (89), South Korea (80), Japan (65), USA (60), France (56), UK (49), Austria (49), and Denmark (41).

"The figures show that GOTS' credible and independent certification of the entire supply chain is an important driver for the business case for sustainability - in contrast to mere self-claims," said Claudia Kersten, GOTS Marketing Director.

The organization also announced that to-date, the GOTS accredited independent certification bodies report 847,749 people working in 2,799 (out of the actual 3,814) GOTS certified facilities. The number is likely to reach one million when the final figures are received.

"This number is a further indication of the relevance of the Global Organic Textile Standard, in addition to the number of GOTS certified operations. We will, with the cooperation of the independent GOTS certifiers and academic research, collect and report additional data in order to demonstrate GOTS' ecological and social impact," said Herbert Ladwig, GOTS Managing Director.

Several US companies became certified to GOTS in 2015 including Asheboro Elastics, Denver Mattress Company, Draper Knitting, O Ecotextiles, Soaring Heart Natural Bed Company, The ErgoBaby Carrier, and United Medical Enterprises. The companies make a wide array of products, from personal care products to fabric, mattresses/bedding, and accessories.

In addition, in 2015, MOM’s Organic Market, a chain of 14 grocery stores in the Washington, DC area, instituted a policy effective January 1, 2016 requiring that all “organic” labeled textiles sold in its stores must be certified to GOTS and properly labeled with the GOTS logo, license number, and label grade for full traceability purposes.  GOTS believes that this is the first grocery chain in the world to have instituted such a policy.

According to the Organic Trade Association’s most recent Organic Industry Survey, the market for organic textiles is the most rapidly growing non-food organic category in the US, growing to $1.1 billion in sales in 2014. The sector grew 18 per cent in 2014, its strongest growth since 2009. Much of this growth is the result of the 2011 US Department of Agriculture policy requiring companies labeling their textiles as “organic” to certify their products to the US organic food standard or GOTS, as well as grocery retailers urging their suppliers to become certified to GOTS.

GOTS is a stringent voluntary global standard for the entire post-harvest processing (including spinning, knitting, weaving, dyeing and manufacturing) of apparel and home textiles made with organic fiber (such as organic cotton and organic wool), and includes both environmental and social criteria.

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