Take a moment to read GOTS’ newly published Annual Report documenting the development, implementation, verification, and promotion of GOTS in 2013. In particular, it highlights the work of its representatives based around the world.
On March 1, the GOTS International Working Group announced the release of GOTS Version 4.0. There are modified rules on permissible conventional ‘additional fiber materials’ regarding recycled and regenerated fibers, the use of virgin polyester and angora was banned, the already extensive list of banned substances and strict residue parameters was further extended, and new criteria were adopted for specific product groups, such as textile personal care products and mattresses. The implementation deadline for GOTS certified entities to fully comply with Version 4.0 is March 1, 2015.
GOTS Releases Short Video on Key Changes in GOTS Version 4.0
GOTS has released a 20 minutes short video outlining the new criteria and specifications or clarifications of differences between GOTS Version 3.0 and 4.0. The video is useful both for companies wishing to get a good overview of the standard and the changes at the same time, and to use it for internal training.
The number of facilities that were certified to GOTS remained stable in 2013 with a slight increase to a total of 3,085 certified facilities in 62 countries. A decrease in Asia was compensated for by a huge increase in Europe. A total of 109 new facilities were registered in Germany (+66 percent), Austria (+14 percent) and Switzerland (+27 percent). An increase of 73 percent was registered in Portugal, 13 percent in Italy, and 12 percent in France. The Top 20 countries (by rank) were: India, Turkey, Germany, China, South Korea, Italy, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Japan, Portugal, France, United Kingdom, United States, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Greece, Denmark, Belgium and Sri Lanka.
In April, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) endorsed GOTS as the minimum reference for organic textile processing. It encourages GOTS to further develop and to follow the principle of continuous improvement. This endorsement includes the recommendation to governments not to start development of redundant standards and regulations but to make references to GOTS as processing standard for organic labeled textiles.
For the second year in a row, fiber is the largest non-food organic category in the U.S., growing 16 percent, to reach $960 million, according to the Organic Trade Association’s (OTA) Organic Industry Survey. Apparel is the leading segment, followed by household textiles and baby products. There is also growing demand for organic cotton products for hotels and spas. Most of the fiber manufacturers that completed the annual OTA survey use GOTS certification.
"Toxic is so last season..." GOTS Provides the Answer to Greenpeace's Detox Challenge
The Greenpeace Detox campaign has targeted global apparel manufacturers for their use of 11 hazardous chemical and heavy metal categories including alkylphenols, phthalates, brominated and chlorinated flame retardants, azo dyes, organotin compounds, perfluorinated chemicals, chlorobenzenes, chlorinated solvents, chlorophenols, short-chain chlorinated paraffins, and heavy metals including cadmium, lead, mercury and chromium. These compounds are known to be persistent, bio-accumulative, toxic, carcinogenic, mutagenic, reprotoxic, or hormone disruptors, and pose risks for the environment and human health. GOTS prohibits all the inputs targeted by the high impact campaign, so certification to the standard, or offering GOTS-certified products to consumers, enables brands, manufacturers, and retailers to demonstrate that their products are free of the Detox and other harmful inputs.
GOTS continued its participation in the relevant advisory committee for the EU Commission’s review of the EU organic regulation in 2013. As it ultimately was decided to abandon the idea of extending this regulation to textiles (and cosmetics), our involvement was rendered superfluous. Upon invitation to the EU Commission’s Expert Group on Textile Names and Labelling, GOTS demonstrated, in a detailed presentation, cases of “greenwashing” legally possible in the EU. GOTS proposed that, by amending the EU Textile Regulation, the EU should follow the US example to allow the use of “organic” and equivalent terms only for textile goods certified to a recognized organic textile processing standard and labelled accordingly. GOTS has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) since 2011.
Organic Trade Association Challenges Federal Trade Commission Study Initiative
On May 27, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) filed comments to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding its plans to conduct a search on consumer perceptions of environmental marketing claims such as “organic” and “pre-consumer recycled content.” OTA stressed it supports FTC’s efforts to understand how consumers interpret organic claims if this information will enhance FTC enforcement action on the inaccurate, misleading, or fraudulent use of the term “organic” on products that fall outside the USDA’s National Organic Program enforcement jurisdiction (such as textiles). However, OTA believes there is enough information available to inform and support oversight and enforcement of such action today. The message expanded on the message delivered to Congress during OTA’s Policy Conference and Hill Visits Day in May.
GOTS Highlighted in “… and who sews your clothes?” German Museum Show
A recent museum installation, “…and who sews your clothes?” in Germany looks critically at the global textile industry as part of the EU-project Museo Mundial. The show at the Naturhistorisches Museum (Museum of Natural History) in Nuremberg, Germany, asks “Do you know where your clothes come from? Where they have been produced, by whom and under which working conditions?” One of the T-Shirts hanging on a clothes rod explains the GOTS label and its positive impact on the clothing industry.
BIOFACH INDIA Nov. 6-8, 2014: GOTS is Supporter for 3rd Time
For the third year in a row, GOTS will be a supporter of the annual BIOFACH INDIA together with INDIA ORGANIC 2014 exhibition November 6-8 at the ADLUX International Convention Center in Ernakulam, Kerala. GOTS remains pledged to increasing awareness about certified organic textiles and educating about the concerns regarding conventional textile processing. All exhibitors and visitors are invited to meet with GOTS Representative in India Sumit Gupta at the GOTS booth to learn about GOTS opportunities in India.
The joint Soil Association/GOTS “Cottoned On” campaign has developed and released a high resolution Cottoned On infographic highlighting the benefits of GOTS. The Cottoned On infographic is under “creative common license” which means that you can freely distribute our copyrighted work - you only have to credit “GOTS and Soil Association.”
GOTS IN ACTION – Upcoming meetings and presentations:
GOTS representatives are always on the move. Meet us at an upcoming event!
July 8:Ethical Fashion Show Berlin. Claudia Kersten (GOTS) and Heike Scheuer (IVN) present the seminar: "Can sustainability be certified? Standards from the ecological, social and economic point of view. Background and specific examples for textile companies." (In German)
July 22:TexWorld, USA - Javits Convention Center, New York City, NY. Sandra Marquardt presents “The What, Where, and How of Garment Production”.
August 2-4:INNATEX, Wallau, Germany. Claudia Kersten will present the GOTS film in the forum.
September 2:Munich Fabric Start Autumn/Winter 15/16 Munich Order Center (MOC) Eco Village. Claudia Kersten will present a lecture „Can sustainability be certified? Standards from the ecological, social and economic point of view. Background and specific examples for textile companies." (In German)
September 16:Texworld Paris, Sustainability Day, Claudia Kersten will present at a seminar: "Can sustainability be certified? Standards from the ecological, social and economic point of view. Background and specific examples for textile companies." (In English)
September 17-20:Natural Product Expo East. Sandra Marquardt attending, holding meeting to discuss GOTS with regulators, fiber exhibitors/attendees.