GLOBAL ORGANIC TEXTILE STANDARD

ECOLOGY & SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Development and Implementation

Standard

GOTS Version 6.0, released on 19 March 2020, is available for download here.

After a comprehensive stakeholder input process, yielding over 300 review comments, the GOTS Standards Committee thoroughly discussed each point. External expert opinions were sought when required. Based on the recommendations from the Standards Committee, the GOTS Advisory Council approved the release of GOTS version 6.0 for full implementation by the 1st of March 2021.

Translations of GOTS 6.0 are available in Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Spanish, and Turkish under downloads. The English language Standard will remain the primary operative and definitive document in cases of any variance in translation.

Previous versions of GOTS may be found under downloads.

Relevant Changes from Previous Standard Version

A document that lists a summary of the changes from GOTS 5.0 to GOTS 6.0 is available for download: List of Relevant Changes

This document provides a summary, but not details, of the changes made and should be considered only as informative and supporting material to the Standard and Manual themselves. These two documents contain the binding changes made.

Implementation Manual

GOTS Implementation Manual 6.0 is available for download.

The GOTS Implementation Manual provides interpretations and clarifications for specific criteria of the Global Organic Textile Standard approved by the Standards Committee. 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 Implementation Manual is revised as and when additional guidance is necessary for GOTS entities, certifiers and other stakeholders. Typically, new versions of the Implementation Manual are released along with new versions of the Standard.

Previous versions of the Implementation Manual are available for download. Translated versions of the Manual are available in Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Spanish and Turkish under downloads as well. The English language version will remain definitive for any variations due to translation.

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 shall now follow the newly developed Standard Setting Procedure (SSP) which provides for the constitution of an (ad hoc) 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”.

At this time, constitution of the GOTS ad-hoc Standard Revision Committee is underway. Keep visiting this page for updates as they happen.

Public Consultation and Comments on GOTS Revision Drafts

GOTS revision drafts shall be 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 is 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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