North American GOTS representative, Lori Wyman was a panelist on the Sustainable Standards segment of the Sustainability and Textiles - New Models seminar at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City in June. This is an annual four-day series of lectures, panels, and hands-on workshops focusing on sustainability and technology in fashion and textiles. It was attended by 43 participants who were designers, educators, and others involved in creation or production of fashion and textiles, as well as retailers from several countries.
Also on the panel were Katina Boutis, the sustainability director at Loomstate, which is a GOTS Certified company in the U.S. and Anna Czerwinska, the head of marketing and communication from the International OEKO-TEX® Association. Each panelist gave a presentation, then there was an engaging question and answer period. Firstly, people wanted to know what is the difference between the GOTS and OEKO-TEX standards. For the most part, these two groups work hand-in-hand as the testing’s division of OEKO-TEX provides a great benchmark for allowable inputs in the GOTS standard. Secondly, Ms. Wyman pointed out that GOTS is a standard is applied only to natural fibers and verifies organic practices from the farm, through the entire supply chain to the end product. Whereas OECLO-TEX standards may apply to synthetic and genetically modified based fibers. Ms. Boutis described her company’s journey to make uniforms from organically sourced cotton and the benefits of being certified to GOTS.