GOTS, which stands for Global Organic Textile Standard, represents one of the most prominent international organic certifications in the textile industry. This standard applies exclusively to products made from natural fibers such as cotton and wool, while allowing for a certain proportion of synthetic materials. The guidelines of the GOTS standard are divided into two main levels:
- Level 1 – "Organic": This level requires that over 95% of the textile fibers are of organic origin.
- Level 2 – "Made with organic materials": Here, the requirement is that over 70% of the textile fibers are organic.
The certification is conducted by authorized certifying bodies and is maintained through random checks at producers' facilities.
GOTS certification takes a holistic approach to both the product and the manufacturing process. This means that strict requirements are placed on all stages of the production chain: from cultivation and harvesting to preparation and creation of the finished product. The requirements of the standard cover areas such as environmental impact, water usage, working conditions, and social aspects. Here are some examples of these requirements:
- Use of organic fibers, such as cotton, that must be easily identifiable, traceable, and handled separately from conventional fibers.
- Prohibition of genetically modified organism (GMO) cultivation in cotton production.
- All chemicals used in the process must undergo evaluation and meet strict standards of toxicity and biodegradability.
- Social criteria based on the core guidelines of the International Labour Organization (ILO) must be adhered to by all stakeholders involved in the production chain.
Through GOTS certification, a significant step is taken toward a more sustainable and responsible approach in the textile industry, with a focus on preserving natural resources while ensuring dignity and well-being for all those involved in the process.