With today’s sustainability challenges and the contribution of the fashion and textile industry to those challenges, we must collectively rethink production and consumption of textiles. Organic fibres play multifaceted roles in creating an industry that actively lowers its environmental impact and prioritizes human health over short term profit.
A textile product carrying the GOTS label must contain a minimum of 70% certified organic fibres, a product with the label grade grade 'organic' must contain a minimum of 95% certified organic fibres.
Organic fibres are natural fibres grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, insecticides, or herbicides and GMOs (Genetic Modified Organisms) according to the principles of organic agriculture. Organic agriculture is a production process that sustains the health of ecosystems, soils and people.
Organic fibre production is not directly covered by the GOTS certification system, as GOTS itself does not set standards for organic fibre cultivation. Instead, the cultivation of organic fibres is under the scope of organic farming standards, many of them defined by national governments.
For organic fibre production, a certification to the IFOAM Family of Standards for the relevant scope of production is required. IFOAM has its own accreditation system. The standards approved under the IFOAM family of standards are officially endorsed as organic and include both private and government regulations.
GOTS, together with OCA (Organic Cotton Accelerator) and Textile Exchange (TE) work on a proficiency testing programme for laboratories that can test samples for GMO presence in organic cotton by the ISO IWA 32:2019 protocol.