Bangladesh - First National Seminar on GOTS Certification
held in in Dhaka, Bangladesh on Nov 23, 2016, was attended by more than 170 representatives from 5 countries including Bangladesh, China, Germany, India and the U.K. Attendees included International Brands & Retailers, manufacturers & exporters, representatives from Govt of Bangladesh, certification bodies, professionals from fields of testing, chemical compliance, media, trade associations, NGOs, academics, consultants and more. The event received excellent feedback from the attendees for the quality of sessions and speakers, as well as networking opportunities. Four sessions of the seminar addressed the various dimensions of GOTS as an instrument of sustainable supply chain management. Key results of the sessions: * commitments from brands on and off the dais to increase their share of GOTS certified organic textiles in their respective supply chains. * need to create more training and awareness among staff and workers for better implementation of standards at the workplace. * though sometimes challenging, sustainable textile production, compliant with international standards like GOTS, is the way to go for long term business gains. Bangladesh is the country with the 5th highest number of GOTS certified facilities worldwide. Today, out of the more than 3,800 facilities GOTS certified worldwide, more than 400 are in this country.
Stay tuned for plans for the next International GOTS Conference and National Seminars!
GOTS thanks the Sponsors and Partners: Lead Sponsor- AEON Commercials India Pvt Ltd; Basil Commodities Pvt Ltd Gold Sponsor- CU Certifications Ltd; The Delta Apparels Ltd Silver Sponsor- CERES GmbH; OneCert International Pvt Ltd Supporters -BioFach India; IFOAM Organics International Media Partners – Apparel Views Bangladesh; The RMG Times Local Organising Partner: The RMG Times
China - First Stakeholder Round Table on Organic Textiles in China
Together with our Chinese cooperation partner Chinese National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC), GOTS organized a first time stakeholder round table to discuss challenges for (GOTS) certified organic textiles in the Chinese market. The September event took place in largest and and most western Chinese province Xinjiang, quite appropriately so as this province produces the vast majority of Chinese grown organic cotton. The Round Table drew prominent attendance from heads of GOTS certified Chinese companies, international brands, certification bodies , government officials and media. In particular Chinese apparel companies represented spoke out strongly for measures allowing GOTS certified products not only for export but also on the Chinese market without the condition that such products must also meet the repective Chinese national standard. In his opening statement, GOTS Managing Director Herbert Ladwig emphazised that the textile industriy operates globally and thus stakeholder based appropriate standards such as GOTS should be globally accepted which also avoids trade barriers. The Round Table was widely reported on in relevant Chinese media such as the reputed Caixin which published a very detailed article on it.CNTAC and GOTS will continue their cooperation with the aim to foster and develope the Chinese market for organic textiles.
Germany - GOTS Round Table on Standards Cooperation in BMZ, 12 October 2016
On October 12th GOTS held a Round Table on Standards Cooperation in the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation (BMZ) in Berlin. Despite the difference between Voluntary Sustainability Standards, we envisaged it would be useful to explore the possibility of working towards convergence, such as equivalency arrangements, mutual recognition and other forms of cooperation. We were pleased to have Dr. Axel Marx, Deputy Director of the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies from the University of Leuven who supported our programme by presenting ways and means of Voluntary Sustainability Standards to cooperate from an academic perspective. Attendees had the opportunity to present and discuss examples from past experience, certain limitations as well as problems. The programme was supported by representatives of the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation department. After a fruitful discussion, representatives of respective Standards mutually agreed that this Round Table can be used to enhance this cooperation to work towards our joint vision of environmentally, socially and economically sustainable textile supply chains. Following organisations and representatives of Standards participated: Better Cotton Initative, Blauer Engel, Bluesign, Cotton made in Africa, Fairtrade Germany, Fairwear Foundation, Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation, Foreign Trade Association, Global Organic Textile Standard, International Association of Natural Textiles, Nordic Swan, Oekotex-Association, Partnership of Sustainable Textiles, Social Accountability Initiative (SA 8000) and Textile Exchange. For future information, please subscribe to our Newsletter.
GOTS Revision - 2nd Stakeholder Input period closed
The GOTS revision process is currently in progress, which will lead to GOTS version 5.0. After an initial consultative phase that ended July 2016, the Standards Committee of GOTS has deliberated on all inputs made by stakeholders. A second revision draft was made available to invited stakeholders on 17 October for another 30 days, in which the participating parties provided final comments to the observations provided by the Standards Committee and/or to the changes made from the 1st to the 2nd draft. The revision process for GOTS involves a transparent process where multiple stakeholders are encouraged to participate. The approach is to set strict and binding requirements for ecological and social parameters whilst acknowledging the need for practicability in industrial production of a wide range of products. To achieve this goal, stakeholders who operate internationally with expertise in the field of organic production, textile processing, textile chemistry and social criteria and representing the industry, NGOs and consumer interests in our programme are invited to contribute to the revision procedure. GOTS version 5.0 is expected to be released March 2017 for implementation commencing the year thereafter.
Three New Regional GOTS Representatives Appointed
GOTS is pleased to announce Lina Pfeifer as the new GOTS Representative in Germany/Austria/Switzerland, Lori Wyman in North America and Elif Yarasik in Turkey. Lina took over from Claudia Kersten, who will focus on her task as Director Marketing and Finance, Lori is the successor of Sandra Marquardt and Elif is the first Regional GOTS Representative in Turkey, given the fact that Turkey is the country with the second most GOTS certified facilities worldwide (469 in 2015) which makes it a very important sourcing market.
Three New GOTS Simple Show Versions: French, Italian, Spanish
GOTS' entertaining new four minute video made by Simple Show is now available in English, German, Japanese, French, Italian and Spanish. GOTS is explained using very simple and engaging story line graphics. The two main objectives are to make clear that only using organic fiber is a step in the right direction but not enough and that only if a product shows the GOTS logo with the license number and certifier's reference one can be sure that it is GOTS certified. You can watch the video on the GOTS website or embed it from Youtube.
Got GOTS photos? Submit them by 20 January 2017!
As last year we are looking for photographs of GOTS certified products showing the diversity of GOTS products available in today’s marketplace for use in our GOTS Annual Report 2016, to be published in Spring, 2017, as well as in our international presentations. If GOTS licensees would like to submit images, please send images in jpeg format with copyright permission by e-mail to or provide a download link. The products in the image must show a correct on-product GOTS labelling like the ones on the title of the GOTS Annual Report 2015. The deadline is January 20, 2017. Thank you in advance for your support!
North America - Misleading Organic Claims Task Force
GOTS is currently working with the Organic Trade Association (OTA), one of the advisory council members of GOTS, on its “Misleading Organic Claims Task Force” focusing on the results of a new study and an upcoming roundtable event. Back in 2015, the FTC Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the (United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) commissioned an internet-based study to explore consumer perceptions of “organic” and “recycled content” claims related to the Commission’s Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims. This was partially a result of feedback on its publication of the Green Guides in 2012 and also members of the OTA -- particularly its fiber members -- participating in numerous meetings over the past four years with FTC and USDA. They submitted extensive comments urging FTC to exercise its consumer protection authority and take action against fraudulent and misleading use of the term “organic” on non-agricultural products such as textiles that are not certified. The Commission noted that it lacked sufficient evidence regarding how consumers perceive organic claims and needed to collect more information in order to provide generally applicable advice. OTA has consistently urged FTC and NOP to develop a joint enforcement policy on the use of the term "organic" on non-agricultural products and update the FTC Green Guides with information that helps marketers ensure that the organic claims they make are truthful and non-deceptive.
On August 20, 2016, the FTC/USDA released the results of the study in a 52 page report. They received survey responses from over 8,000 participants. The results of this study will aid the FTC staff in considering revisions for the next iteration of the Green Guides. Considering the organic survey results in light of the study’s limitations, the FTC staff concluded that “The results are sufficiently robust to consider these organic issues further”. Firstly, respondents were equally split between those who believe that organic claims have the same meaning for non-food products as food products, and those who believe they have different meanings. Secondly, roughly 35% of respondents believed that organic claims for shampoos or mattresses imply that the product meets a government standard. About 30% of respondents believed that USDA certifies organic claims for these products. Unfortunately, the study did not test out the term “USDA NOP Organic”, GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), nor OCS (Organic Content Standard). Also results indicated that many participants consider “Non-Organic” to mean the same as “Man-Made”.
Germany - Judgement on Advertising with Test Marks or Certifications
The Federal Superior Court’s (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH) has recently decided on the question under which conditions advertising with test marks or certification is permitted, in order to protect the consumers. The seller has to make clear what the certification is about. This can be done by giving a link to the respecting webpage of the certificate or standard if all information can be found there or by providing this information by the seller himself. Otherwise this can result in warning letters. The GOTS Website provides all information publically including the Version of the Standard itself. You could also use the links to the GOTS Film or Simple Show Clip or order the "From Field to Fashion" Flyer for distribution at the point of sale. In case of doubt, we strongly recommend to get your advertising checked by specialized lawyers.
Save the date: GOTS Pre-Conference to 19th Organic World Congress of IFOAM in India
It will take place on 8 November, 2017, in or around Delhi, India. and will be focused on ‘Social compliance issues in the organic textile supply chain’, shall set the stage for a discourse on these issues discussion on Organic 3.0. Professionals from industry, trade bodies, standard organizations (including IFOAM), academicians, researchers and other stakeholders shall be invited. You will find more Information on the GOTS website soon.
December 1-2, 2016: The Textile Association (India), Mumbai Unit in Hotel Lalit, Mumbai at the India International Textile Conference on “Make in India – Global Vision of Indian Textile Industry”. GOTS India and Bangladesh respresentative Sumit Gupta will be making a presentation on the topic: ‘Making Organic Textiles in India -Benefits to India and way forward’Contact January 17-19: Ethical Fashion Show in Berlin, Germany. GOTS Germany, Austria, Switzerland Representative Lina Pfeifer will attend and speak. Contact January 21-23: Innatex in Wallau, Germany. Marketing Director Claudia Kersten will attend. Contact January 25-26: Future Fabrics Expo in London, UK. The Future Fabrics Expo showcases innovative and traditional commercially viable fibres, fabrics and products that embody a range of sustainable principles and new technologies. GOTS representative Christopher Stopes will be at the show highlighting the importance of independently certified GOTS organic textiles. Contact January 31-February 2: Munich Fabric Start, Germany. GOTS Germany, Austria, Switzerland Representative Lina Pfeifer will attend and speak. Contact