The textile industry has some serious environmental and human-damaging habits. Thank goodness there are organic clothing options, which are mostly recognised by this logo.
The Global Organic Textile Standard, GOTS, was written just for textiles. Most organic standards were written in the 80s to regulate food and products derived from farming. They didn’t take into account non food items like organic clothing and skincare. COSMOS was developed for cosmetics and skincare.
- 95% certified organic natural fibres such as organic wool, organic cotton or organic hemp.
GOTS also has a ‘made with x% of organic materials’ label. Products must have at least 70% certified organic material to meet it. Whether it’s a ‘certified organic’ textile or ‘a made with’ textile, the rest of the materials must be from natural origins.
- Prohibits toxic chemicals for processing. Chemicals such as solvents, chlorinated benzenes, endocrine disruptors, formaldehydes and GM material aren’t allowed. Synthetic dyes are allowed under strict conditions.
- Strict requirements around environmental management and wastewater treatment.
- Prohibits child labour.
What’s the difference between GOTS and other organic certifications?
- GOTS is recognised worldwide, Australian organic logos aren’t.
- There’s only a few pages in the Australian organic standard dedicated to organic clothing and textiles. GOTS has 40 pages entirely dedicated to textiles making it more comprehensive and prescriptive.
- GOTS covers processing, manufacturing, packaging, labelling, trading and distribution requirements in detail.
Which one’s better?
This is a moot question because you won’t find many organic clothing or textiles wearing other organic logos. GOTS has captured the market and certifying bodies in Australia are accredited to certify products to the GOTS standard.
Sustainable Shopper loves that GOTS has comprehensive requirements that extent to labour, leaving less chance for unfair work conditions and wages. Other organic certifications, like Australian ones, don’t have requirements around wages.
If you want to read the nitty gritty look through the GOTS standard.