GOTS and Textile Exchange have updated the joint policy for issuing transaction certificates (TCs). A specific challenge for the practicability of the TC system is that many suppliers generate huge numbers of shipments which may significantly increase the administrative burden and cost if a separate TC is issued for each single shipment. To adequately address this issue, the policy for issuing TCs has been amended by rules and conditions for issuing TCs that cover multiple shipments with the goal to increase practicability and efficiency of the certification process. Under certain conditions TCs may now cover up to 100 shipments to a single consignee in a period of three months. The TC policy and the corresponding template are available here.
On 16th May 2013 the formal revision process to develop GOTS Version 4.0 started with an initial stakeholder input period. Beside the members of the IWG and the approved certifiers, also nineteen stakeholder organisations which 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 program are invited to participate.
Some of the topics that will be addressed in the revision are the development of more specific and applicable requirements for product groups of the non-garment sector (e.g. personal care products and mattresses), specifications of requirements for non-textile accessories and the approach towards sustainable fibre developments (recycled fibres, regenerated fibres from organic/sustainable renewable sources).
GOTS Version 4.0 is expected to be released in March 2014 followed by a one year transition period for users of GOTS to fully comply with the new version. Details on the revision procedure, timetable and a list of the invited stakeholder organisations are available here.
The joint Soil Association and GOTS Organic Cotton Campaign 'Have you cottoned on yet' recently commissioned a poll to uncover consumer attitudes to cotton in Germany, USA, UK, India and Italy. Consumers were asked what they think shops should provide more information about with regards to the cotton being used in the clothes they sell, and in all countries polled, except the UK 'Whether or not cotton is turned into fabric and dyed using toxic chemicals' was the most popular answer. In the UK, this was the second most popular answer after 'whether or not cotton is grown with a farming system that also helps farmers to feed their families'. When it came to considering what consumers think clothing companies buying cotton grown on small farms in India and Africa should be concerned about, 'Whether or not cotton is turned into fabric and dyed using toxic chemicals' was again the most popular answer in Germany, USA and Italy. In the UK 'whether or not the farmer gets paid a fair price for their cotton' was the most common issue selected, and in India 'the quality of the cotton' was selected most often.
The Consortium of Green Fashion (CGF) in India recently presented awards in five categories: Industry, Designer, NGO, Student Competition and Best Paper. The award presented to GOTS in the NGO category was an appreciation for global activities in the field of promoting textiles produced from organic fibres, processed in environmentally and socially responsible ways. Sumit Gupta, GOTS Representative in India accepted the award on behalf of GOTS on 6th of April 2013 at the Lalit, Mumbai.
The award function was organised along with a very interesting Green Fashion Show as a grand culmination of a national level competition of Green Fashion Design. It was preceded by a conference with focus on sustainability in textiles. This CGF initiative was well received by top institutes as well as top fashion industries.
Bombay Rayon Fashions Ltd, Madura Lifestyle and Fashion, Polygenta, Laxmipathy Sarees were among the conference partners.
CGF is a one of a kind initiative by Maharshi Karve Stree Shikshan Samstha’s School of Fashion Technology (SOFT) & DyStar-India, Navi Mumbai. They aim to create a platform for exchange of ideas, information & sustainable practices making Green Fashion as the only choice of present & future. It was formed on international level, to bring about the confluence of Fair Practices in international and national fashion business. It is purely meant for increasing ecological awareness in Textile and Fashion Industry that continuously facilitates research and promotes “Green Fashion”, “Fair Fashion” and “Responsible Fashion” that aims to reach the grass root level to strengthen that particular stratum of industry which ultimately leads to healthy fashion.
Mr. Steven Jesseph (International Compliance Group,USA), Mr. Manish Mandhana (Mandhana Industries Ltd) and Mr. Rahul Mehta (Creative Casual India Pvt Ltd) were the Key Note Speakers in the conference. Other sessions related to Sustainability, Compliance, Upcycling, Water conservation, Energy Conservation and Waste Management were presented by a series of distinguished speakers.
To promote Green Fashion and to acknowledge Green Initiatives of Industries, NGO’s and Designers, the applications were invited from various national and international organizations.
The following best initiatives were awarded at the time of CGF Award evening:
The best Green Initiative – Industry award was given to – Alok Industry, Polygenta, Welspun, Mehershaw.
The Best Green Initiative – NGO Award- was given to GOTS and Conserve.
The Best Green Initiative – Designer Award- was given to Mr. Rahul Mishra and Mr. Philippe Werhahn.
Leading organizations like Greenpeace International and Swiss Olympics have adopted GOTS as the gold standard for their natural fibre product procurement policies.
Greenpeace International, known for its intense scrutiny of the international textile industry’s processing practices as part of its Detox Campaign, announced its cotton-based “Textile procurement policy” on October 12, 2012.
It calls for all cotton-based textiles purchased by Greenpeace International (including T-shirts, sweatshirts, trousers, and bags that can be used by volunteers, activists, or staff within the organization), to be made from 100% organic, fair-trade raw materials and to have GOTS or equivalent certification.
Swiss Olympic, the umbrella organization for the Swiss sporting associations and National Olympic Committee announced its “Guideline on Textiles” in 2011 and updated the guideline in 2017. The German language versions of the guideline "Richtlinie Bekleidung genähte Produkte" and further detailed information "Informationen Richtlinien" are also available for download. The policy calls for products containing more than 75% natural fibres to be certified according to GOTS or an equivalent. It also calls for factories to be in “low-risk” countries or be certified to SA 8000 labour standards, and the natural fibres must be certified to the FLO Fair Trade Standard or the equivalent.
In addition, the the U.S.-based Natural Resources Defence Council highlights GOTS in its discussion of how textiles companies are reducing their impacts on the environment. The organization notes that “GOTS standards are also crossing over to conventional clothing. As companies attempt to get a handle on their suppliers and maintain quality control, the list of environmental criteria is coming in handy. While consumers won't see a GOTS tag on conventional cotton jeans, some companies are asking suppliers to use only GOTS-certified dyes and chemicals on conventional cotton clothing.”