New GOTS Version 4.0 - Short Version
Today, the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) International Working Group is announcing Version 4.0of its globally-recognizedstandard for theprocessingof textiles made from certified organic natural fibers.GOTS' core provisions such as the 70 % minimum content of certified organic fibres, bans on GMO(genetically modified organism), nanotechnologyand carcinogenic substances have beenmaintained.
There are modifiedrules on theconventional 'additional fibre materials': These now may consist of regenerated, respective synthetic fibres - up to 30 % - provided they are environmentally improved and certified. GOTSis followingthe current knowledgethat the focus onnatural fibersfor thisadditionalfibre contentis no longerjustifiable.
Other changes include the bans on virgin polyester and of angora (recently in the headlines due to animal cruelty concerns). New criteria were adopted for specificproduct groups, such as textilepersonal care productsor mattresses.
The most importantaddition tothe socialcriteria thatare based on theILO key conventions(eg. banning child labour) isto take into consideration available results ofvarious other reliable programs andcertification schemes in this field.
New GOTS Version 4.0 - Full Version
Today, the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)International Working Groupis announcing Version 4.0 of the worldwide recognizedstandard for theprocessingof textiles made fromat least 70% (label grade 'made with organic'), respective 95% (label grade "organic") certifiedorganic natural fibres.
GOTS' core provisions such as the 70 % minimum content of certified organic fibres, the general banson the useof substances fromdisputedtechniques such asGMO(genetically modified organism) andnanotechnology as well as carcinogenic substances have been maintained. There are modified rules on permissible conventional ‘additional fibrematerials’: These now may consist of regenerated, respective synthetic fibres - up to 30 % - provided they are environmentally improved and certified. For regenerated fibres this means that the raw material must be from certified organic production respective sustainable forestry management or certified recycled. For synthetic fibres the raw material must be recycled and also certified according to recognized standards.
“According to current knowledge through environmental impact assessments the previous focus on natural fibres for the permissible conventional ‘additional fibre materials’ (up to max. 30 %) is no longer justifiable. In the future, textile manufacturers will have a larger choice of fibre mixes if they also use the environmentally improved variants of regenerated and synthetic fibres. A wider product selection of GOTS certified products will be made possible which will also support the increased use of organic fibres” notes Marcus Bruegel, GOTS Technical Director.
In addition, the use of virgin polyester and angora is banned. “Bothbans are reasonable. Recycled polyester yarn is already widely available. In the case of angora the ban is a consequence of the mostly inacceptable husbandry conditions of angora rabbits” Bruegel continues.
The processing is also regulated more strictly. As in every revision process the latest insights regarding textile chemistry and residue testing methods were considered. Variousapplicable criteria and limit values were reinforced. Thealready extensivelistof banned substancesandstrictresidueparameterswas further extended. This will point out more clearly that all substances criticized by Greenpeace in their “Detox Campaign” naturally remain banned in GOTS.
New criteria were adopted for specificproduct groups, such as textilepersonal care productsor mattresses.
TheGOTSsocial criteriaare based on theILO key conventions (International Labour Organization), which include the ban onchild labour.Theaudit areasthat need to becoveredby the auditorsduring theon-siteinspections werefurther specified. TheGOTS4.0now expressly stipulates programsor certifications; the results are to be considered during theGOTSinspection:Fair WearFoundation (FWF), Social Accountability8000 (SA800), Worldwide ResponsibleAccreditedProduction (WRAP) and the Business SocialCompliance Initiative(BSCI). Fireprevention training andevacuation drills were added to theexisting health and safety training requirements.
The implementation period for GOTS certified entities to comply with the new criteria is one year after the announcement.
GOTS 4.0 is the result of a revision process with multi stakeholder input which is repeated every three years. Stakeholders who operate internationally with expertise in the field of organic production, textile processing, textile chemistry and social criteria and representing the industry, NGOs and consumer interests were invited to participate. This time the participating organizations also included Greenpeace, the Clean Clothes Campaign, Fairtrade, the Fair Wear Foundation, IFOAM and Textile Exchange.
GOTS Annual Report 2013
After the number of facilities becoming certified to GOTS in 62 countries worldwide surpassed the 3.000 mark in 2012, it remained stable in 2013 with an increase to a total of 3.085 certified facilities. A decrease in Asia which was partially caused by the trend of concentrating the placement of GOTS orders with certain already certified facilities was overcompensated by a huge increase in Europe. A total of 109 new facilities were registered in Germany (+66%), Austria (+14%) and Switzerland (+27%). An increase of 73 % with 33 new facilities was registered in Portugal, 13 % increase in Italy and 12 % in France.
The Top 20 countries in terms of the total number of GOTS-certified facilities were: India, Turkey, Germany, China, South Korea, Italy, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Japan, Portugal, France, United Kingdom, USA, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Greece, Denmark, Belgium and Sri Lanka.
“We see the increase in Europe as a very positive sign. For thecompanies theGOTScertification meansan increasingcompetitive advantage in addition to theeffectivesupply chain management.It helps them findtheir'Business Case for Sustainability’. First of all they have a pull effect on the whole worldwide supply chain and secondly they have a push effect towards the end consumers. They are making themselves to realagents of changetosustainabilityin the textile industryandsecure their long-time company successat the same time"says Claudia Kersten,GOTSMarketing Director.
All certified facilities are listed in the public database which has been available on the GOTS website since 2010. There are more than 100.000 search queries every year. There are currently seventeen GOTS accredited independent certification organizations.
The GOTS Version 4.0, the corresponding Manual for the implementation, a list of the relevant changes, region specific additions to this press release as well as translations into Japanese and Chinese and further information regarding GOTS can be found on www.global-standard.org.