The number of facilities becoming GOTS-certified increased by 11 percent and surpassed the 3,000 mark in 2012, growing from 2,714 facilities in 2011 to 3,016 facilities in 2012, according to new data from the GOTS International Working Group. Please see the press release for the globe and with additional region-specific facts from the GOTS Representatives for China, Germany-Austria-Switzerland, India, Japan, UK and USA for more information.
As ISEAL (the “International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labelling Alliance”) has developed into the global platform for voluntary standards in the field of environmental and social compliance, GOTS decided to join the organization as a subscriber. The collaboration of standard setters in this field is intended to strengthen the role of voluntary standards globally, in particular vis-à-vis industry, governments and intergovernmental organizations.
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.