The Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW) and Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (ifeu) invited GOTS to an interactive ‘International Expert Workshop’ of global experts on ‘Maintaining Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Worldwide through Sustainable Consumption’ from 8-11 October 2018, held on the Isle of Vilm, Germany. GOTS Deputy Director Mr. Sumit Gupta participated and made a presentation on ‘The Role of Eco-Labels in Fostering Sustainable Consumption & Production’. The presentation was followed by a Panel Discussion on the same topic with representatives from IÖW, cotton and soybean sector.
The key sectors in focus were Cotton, Soybean and Lithium. 24 international experts participated and presented about these industries and their related impact on biodiversity and environment. Key learnings include:
‘The International Convention on Sustainable Trade and Standards’ (ICSTS) was convened by the Quality Council of India (QCI) in collaboration with the United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards (UNFSS). It was held at 17th & 18th September 2018 at the Andaz, New Delhi, India. GOTS was the Supporting Partner to this Convention.
Mr. Sumit Gupta, GOTS Deputy Director Standards Development & Quality Assurance was invited as a panellist in the textile session. The title of the session was ‘Strengthening Multi-Stakeholder Sectoral Initiatives and Responsible Sourcing Decisions in Textiles Value Chains”. The session was moderated by Mr. Rene Van Berkel from UNIDO.
Mr. Gupta explained that GOTS is a multistakeholder standard and has a transparent process for standard setting and revision. GOTS actively engages with other standards to avoid double working. He provided the example of social compliance, where GOTS has listed four social standards including SA 8000 in its Implementation Manual.
Mr. Gupta also elucidated how third-party standards, such as GOTS, can help to improve the supply chain interactions. He also referred to the recently released GOTS Factsheet on Sustainable Developmental Goals (SDGs).
“GOTS is a Consumer Facing label. GOTS certified businesses are able to make sustainability claims that are visible to the end consumer. Consumers can then make informed decisions and can also verify those claims on GOTS website”, concluded Mr. Gupta.
Influencing sustainability in the textile industry is one of the core goals of the Global Standard Non-Profit Organisation. By being the world’s leading processing Standard for textiles made from organic fibres, GOTS provides a quality assurance system for producers as well as consumers. But how can brands and other stakeholders in the supply chain make sure that “sustainability” is discussed on consumer level? Given the fact that online sales are booming and ‘new’ media marketing is in trend, mass media channels such as fashion blogs, YouTube channels and Instagram accounts are an interesting topic to explore the question how sustainability can develop from niche to norm.
Therefore, GOTS representative Lina Pfeifer has invited two experts with relevant knowledge in this field: blogger and Youtuber Verena Erin Polowy from "mygreencloset", as well as Thekla Wilkening, the co-founder of "Kleiderei", a clothing rental service.
The discussion will be an open round with the possibility for questions and will take place at the Ethical Fashion Show in Berlin (Kraftwerk), on January 17th 11 a.m.
GOTS also will be present with a booth (B40E) and we look forward to meeting you there or contact for questions or comments.
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.