Why GOTS Certified Organic Cotton?
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the world's leading textile processing standard for organic fibers. It is the stringent voluntary global standard for the entire post-harvest processing—including spinning, knitting, weaving, dyeing and manufacturing of apparel and home textiles made with organic fiber. The standard includes both environmental and social criteria backed by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain. The aim of the standard is to define globally recognized requirements that ensure the organic status of textiles, from harvesting of the raw materials through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing all the way to labeling in order to provide credible assurance to the end consumer. Textile processors and manufacturers are able to export their organic fabrics and garments with this one certification which is accepted in all major markets. A textile product carrying the GOTS label grade ‘organic’ must contain a minimum of 95% certified organic fibers.
Key provisions include a ban on the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), highly hazardous chemicals such as azo dyes and formaldehyde, and child labor, while requiring strong social compliance management systems and strict wastewater treatment practices.
GOTS is a non-profit organization and was developed by four international standard setters—Organic Trade Association (U.S.), Japan Organic Cotton Association, International Association Natural Textile Industry (Germany), and Soil Association (United Kingdom)—which formed an International Working Group to define globally recognized requirements.
For more info. on GOTS visit: https://www.global-standard.org/
- At all processing stages organic fiber products must be separated from conventional fiber products and must be clearly identified
- All chemical inputs (e.g. dyes, auxiliaries and process chemicals) must be evaluated and meet basic requirements on toxicity and biodegradability/limitability
- Ban on critical inputs such as toxic heavy metals, formaldehyde, aromatic solvents, functional nano particles, genetically modified organisms (GMO) and their enzymes
- The use of synthetic sizing agents is restricted; knitting and weaving oils must not contain heavy metals
- Bleaches must be based on oxygen (no chlorine bleaching)
- Azo dyes that release carcinogenic amine compounds are prohibited
- Discharge printing methods using aromatic solvents and plastisol printing methods using phthalates and PVC are prohibited
- Restrictions for accessories (e.g. no PVC, nickel or chrome permitted, all polyester must be post-consumer recycled from 2014 onward)
- All operators must have an environmental policy including target goals and procedures to minimize waste and discharges
- Wet-processing units must keep full records of the use of chemicals, energy, water consumption and waste water treatment, including the disposal of sludge. The waste water from all wet-processing units must be treated in a functional waste water treatment plant
- Packaging material must not contain PVC. From 1 January 2014 onward, any paper or cardboard used in packaging material, hang tags, swing tags etc. must be post-consumer recycled or certified in accordance with FSC or PEFC
Minimum Social Criteria
All processors and manufacturers must meet minimum social criteria based on the key norms of the International Labor Organization (ILO). They must implement social compliance management with defined elements to ensure that the social criteria can be met.
Certification of the Entire Textile Supply Chain
- Fiber producers (farmers) must be certified according to a recognized international or national organic farming standard that is accepted in the country where the final product will be sold
- Certifiers of fiber producers must be internationally recognized according to ISO 65 and/or IFOAM accreditation. They also must be accredited to certify according to the applicable fiber standard
- Operators from post-harvest handling up to garment making and traders have to undergo an annual on-site inspection cycle and must hold a valid GOTS operational certificate applicable for the production/trade of the textiles to be certified
- Certifiers of processors, manufacturers and traders must be internationally accredited according to ISO 65 and must hold a ‘GOTS accreditation’ in accordance with the rules as defined in the ‘Approval Procedure and Requirements for Certification Bodies’
We at BeeCotton only use Certified Organic Cotton to manufacture our products. The benefits are apparent and far-reaching. Here is why we believe in Organic production:
1) Avoid Hazards to the Farmers and Their Families - The average life expectancy of a non-organic cotton farmer in third-world countries is mid-30's due to exposure to chemicals
2) High Quality of Cotton & its Fiber - Organic cotton has longer, softer and less brittle fibers which results in a luxuriously softer & durable fabric, producing garments at the height of comfort and wearability.
3) Protecting the Environment & Reducing Birth Defects - The chemicals used in conventional cotton farming contaminate the soil and drinking water potentially causing birth defects in the surrounding communities.
4) No GMO Seeds - Only natural, untreated, seeds that are free of GMO are used in organic farming, which eliminates the need for herbicides and pesticides in the production of healthy plants.
Our clothing line is created using GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) Certified Organic Cotton. Only products that contain a minimum of 70% organic fibers can become GOTS certified. All accessories, dyes, and other inputs must meet certain environmental and toxicological criteria. Additionally, under GOTS our factories must maintain a minimum social criteria, including living wages, safe working conditions, working hours that are not excessive and more.
GOTS stipulates requirements throughout the supply chain for both ecology (protecting environment) and labor conditions in textile and apparel manufacturing using organically produced raw materials. Organic production is based on a system of farming that maintains and replenishes soil fertility without the use of toxic, persistent pesticides and fertilizers, leaving zero waste behind. In addition, organic production relies on adequate animal husbandry and excludes genetic modification.