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Global Standard prepares to develop new standard, expanding GOTS benefits to a wider range of sustainable fibres

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By Claudia Kersten and Rahul Bhajekar

Since 2006, self-funded non-profit Global Standard has led in environmental and social criteria through its Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). Because of our dedication to advancing sustainability and pioneering approach to improve the organic textile world, we are excited to announce that Global Standard is in the developmental stages of a groundbreaking additional standard.

The new standard does not imply a departure from GOTS as the leading organic standard, but it will empower the industry to apply the GOTS framework, which has been successful for 20 years, to other sustainable fibres. This extension will further enhance people’s lives and the environment, as stated in the organisation' Vision.  GOTS sets a high bar for the organic textile industry by covering a wide range of environmental, social and ethical criteria, significantly exceeding what is required by national or international legislation – thus providing certified entities with the rules and tools to stay within regulations. With an additional standard, Global Standard heralds its ongoing strategic evolution process, also triggered by tightening legislation, to provide compliance support for a wider range of sustainable fibres.

Seamless Integration with GOTS Principles

As we shape this new sustainability standard, it will be designed to work in synergy with the existing GOTS standard and share the core principles that have made GOTS a hallmark of responsible and trustworthy processing in the textile industry. These principles include:

  • Human rights including social criteria: Upholding fair labour practices and social responsibility, including prohibition of child labour, discrimination (including gender-based), harassment and violence.
  • Ecological criteria: Prioritising environmentally friendly processes and materials.
  • Due diligence: Implementation of standard criteria through due diligence.
  • Traceability: Ensuring the transparent tracking and volume reconciliation of materials throughout the entire value chain.
  • Third-party certification: Validating compliance through independent certification bodies.
  • Comprehensive: Covering all processing stages.

Building upon Existing Tools

The new standard will leverage the powerful tools already established by Global Standard for GOTS. This includes the Global Fibre Registry as well as the Global Trace-Base for tracing the value chains of each product, including impact evaluation. Furthermore, the standard will adopt for a broader range of sustainable fibres all criteria that already assist companies in demonstrating their adherence to supply chain regulations and beyond. 

What Next?

Once the respective committees in Global Standard have agreed on the first draft, the standard shall – as per ISEAL requirements – undergo a public consultation procedure. We trust that the process will advance in the same agile manner that the industry has grown to expect from GOTS and its criteria.

Global Standard remains committed to driving positive change in the textile industry, addressing the evolving needs of the market and promoting sustainability at every level of the value chain to contribute to the empowerment of the industry to meet the sustainable development goals. 

Find more information on how GOTS already contributes to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals here.

Claudia Kersten and Rahul Bhajekar are the managing directors of Global Standard.