GLOBAL ORGANIC TEXTILE STANDARD

ECOLOGY & SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

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Development and Implementation

Standard

GOTS Version 7.0, released on 7 March 2023, is available for download here.

The revised Standard has now a new document structure and new content flow. This was created so as to user friendly, with requirements in a logical sequence and in harmonization with recent industry requirements such as due diligence and ESG.

The implementation deadline for GOTS version 7.0 is 1 March 2024.

While the operative and definitive language of GOTS is English, translations are available in other languages under downloads.

Previous versions of GOTS may be found under downloads.

Relevant Changes from Previous Standard Version

Since GOTS 7.0 is being released in a new structure and flow, it is likely that past users may find it difficult easily understand the changes to the Standard. To facilitate a smooth transition to the new structure and flow, the GOTS Standard Development and Quality Assurance Unit have produced a set of documents (with the changed criteria), continuing the structure used in previous versions of GOTS. However, these are strictly only for reference and are not for official use. These are available for download here:

  • Changelogs between GOTS 6.0 and GOTS 7.0 so as to highlight the changes are available for download here. Changelogs are supporting documents for informative purposes only.
  • A document that directly correlates the new flow in GOTS 7.0 with corresponding sections in GOTS 6.0 has also been prepared and this is available for download here.
Implementation Manual

The Manual for the Implementation of GOTS 7.0 is available for download here.

The GOTS Manual provides interpretations and clarifications for specific criteria of the Global Organic Textile Standard. This Manual is intended to ensure a consistent, appropriate, and correct interpretation of the Standard. It also contains the requirements and detailed specifications for the application of the Standard, as well as the related quality assurance system for certifiers.

The Manual is a flexible quality assurance tool that provides advice and clarification to GOTS-approved certifiers and users and may, therefore, be updated as needed without undergoing a formal standard revision procedure. The interpretations, corrections and further clarifications provided in this document are binding for all approved GOTS certifiers and users of GOTS.

The Manual is revised as and when additional guidance is necessary for GOTS entities, certifiers and other stakeholders. Typically, new versions of the Manual are released along with new versions of the Standard.

While the operative and definitive language of the Manual is English, translations are made available in other languages under downloads.

Previous versions of the Manual for the implementation of GOTS can be found under downloads.

Revision Process

Principles of the Revision Process - Stakeholder Input

GOTS is backed up by stakeholder-based decision bodies/technical committees which ensure that the views of relevant stakeholders are considered. The GOTS approved certification bodies are also actively involved in the GOTS revision process through the ‘Certifiers Council’.

Revised Process for Standard Revisions

Commencing 2022, the revision process has followed the Standard Setting Procedure (SSP) which provides for the constitution of a Standard Revision Committee (SRC) for each revision. The SRC consists of experts from different stakeholder groups, works on the basis of respective terms of reference and decides on the revised standard. Selection of members is based on the “GOTS Stakeholder Identification Document”.

The Standard Revision Committee was formed for the latest revision to GOTS 7.0 and more details are available on the GOTS website.

Public Consultation and Comments on GOTS Revision Drafts

GOTS revision drafts were made available for open public consultation and comments during the revision process. GOTS encourages all stakeholders including associations, organisations, companies and individuals to contribute to the process of the revision of the Standard through this process. The timeline for the revision to GOTS version 7.0 was as follows:

1. Constitution of GOTS SRC
March / April 2022
2. Release of first revision draft for public consultation
April 2022
3. First public consultation period
60 days from release
4. Deliberations of the SRC on inputs received
May-August 2022
5. Release of second revision draft for public consultation
September 2022
6. Second public consultation period
30 days from release
7. Deliberations by the SRC on inputs received
October-November 2022
8. Finalisation of GOTS version 7.0
February 2023
9. Release of GOTS version 7.0
March 2023

Reference documents :

For more information, contact Rahul Bhajekar ().

Quality Assurance System

A company operating a GOTS certified (production/processing) facility ("Certified Entity") must work in compliance with all criteria of the standard. GOTS relies on a dual system to check compliance with the relevant criteria that consists of both on-site auditing and testing, which includes quality parameters and chemical residue testing.

Certification of the entire Textile Supply Chain

  • Natural fibres must be certified organic or organic in conversion according to a recognised international or national organic farming standard that is approved in the IFOAM Family of Standards for the relevant scope of production.
  • The certification body of fibre producers must be internationally recognised through ISO Guide 65/17065, NOP and/or IFOAM accreditation. They also have to be accredited to certify according to the applicable fibre standard.
  • Certified Entities from post-harvest handling, up to garment making, as well as traders have to undergo an onsite annual inspection cycle and must hold a valid GOTS Scope Certificate applicable for the production / trade of the textiles to be certified.
  • The certification body of processors, manufacturers and traders must be internationally accredited according to ISO 17065 and must hold a 'GOTS Accreditation' in accordance with the rules, along with a valid contract with GOTS, as defined in the 'Approval Procedure and Requirements for Certification Bodies'.

Testing of Technical Quality Parameters and Residues

  • Certified Entities are expected to undertake testing in accordance with a risk assessment, in order to assure compliance with GOTS.
  • Testing regimes are to be based on risk assessment.
  • Qualitative GMO Screening of organic cotton is required as per ISO IWA 32.
  • Stringent limit values for residues of hazardous substances are defined in the Standard and/or Implementation Manual.
  • Certified Entities must undergo residue testing according to a risk assessment of contamination.
  • Additional samples may be taken by auditors and sent for analysis to ISO 17025 accredited or GLP compliant labs.
GOTS Monitor (Water/Energy)

Consumption of water and energy and reduced CO2 emissions are the most important and critical aspects of sustainability for textile processors and manufacturers. As part of the environmental management criteria (Section 2.4.10), GOTS requires that — among other information — Certified Entities must have available and provide:

  • data on energy and water resources used, as well as their consumption per kilogram of textile output.
  • target goals and procedures to reduce energy and water consumption per kilogram of textile output.

GOTS Certified Entities can register for a complimentary download of GOTS Monitor.

GOTS Monitor (Water/Energy) is a software tool that aims to support Certified Entities to approach and comply with these requirements. The main functions of GOTS Monitor (Water/Energy) are to:

  • allow easy data collection on energy and water consumption (per kilogram of textile output).
  • provide realistic factory-specific benchmark values for these parameters (specifically for wet processing activities).

Users are supported in setting up and monitoring realistic targets regarding progress in reducing their water and energy consumption. The effects will be visible in environmental terms – in fulfilling the requirements of the GOTS Standard –, as well as in monetary terms, for the business case of sustainability.

After completing the order form, further information will be received by email, entailing extensive instructions on how to download, install and use GOTS Monitor. Watch the GOTS Connect Clip to find out more about the Monitor Water/Energy Tool.

Download the GOTS Monitor

Information Webinar GOTS Monitor (Water/Energy) 2.0

A recording of an information webinar, held on 17 December 2018, to introduce the GOTS Monitor (Water/Energy) 2.0 is available to watch here: Webinar - GOTS 2.0 recording. The slide-set can be downloaded here.

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