Nowadays, it’s hard to tell if organic textiles companies claiming to sell organic cotton are authentic. The reason for this is, unlike food, textile products have several certifications to claim they are organic, but many of these certifications do not ensure the product is organic from farm to finish.
This means some products that claim to be ‘organic’ may have a very small percentage of organic cotton in the finished product. Or, it could also mean the fibre was grown organically but the dyes used for the product contained toxic chemicals.
To try and help, here’s everything you need to know about GOTS certification.
What does GOTS Certified Mean?
It’s a great step if you have decided to switch to organic cotton. But, to ensure that the product really is organic and authentic, from seed to the finished product, look out for the world’s leading and highest certification in organic fibres, which is GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard).
As described in the GOTS website, “The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibres, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain.”
The meaning of GOTS is to outline world-wide known requirements that guarantee the organic status of textiles.
This includes the seeds used to harvest the cotton, the process of harvesting, the use of raw materials, ensuring the products are manufactured responsibly up to the labels. This is done to provide a trustworthy and reliable product guarantee for the customer.
How Does a Product Receive GOTS Certification?
For the GOTS to certify a product, the entire textile process is monitored closely and strictly.
Firstly, a certification from governmental organic farming standards is needed to prove the cotton fibre is grown and farmed without GMO seeds (genetically modified seeds), and without the use of any chemicals or pesticides. The product must be made with at least 70% organic fibres.
Farmers also must be certified according to international organic farming standards. This also helps with traceability of the cotton.
As well as processing and manufacturing criteria, GOTS also has a social criterion that you must meet to be GOTS certified.
This includes no child labour, working conditions are safe and hygienic, no discrimination. No excessive working hours, harsh or inhuman treatment is prohibited. Ethical business practices and quality assurance system is put in place.
GOTS certified organic cotton means that your product has been ethically sourced, and monitored closely during the production process.
The Certification Process
During the production of fabrics, the use of water and energy is monitored. GOTS must be provided with information and statistics on how much water and energy they are consuming per kg of textile production.
If they are not met, target goals and procedures are put in place to reduce water and energy consumption. These goals must be fulfilled.
Here’s some criteria the process must meet:
- All organic raw materials must be clearly labelled as such at all stages of the supply chain, and kept separately from other materials.
- Once the raw fibre is collected, the processing and manufacturing is monitored to ensure all dyes/process chemicals is evaluated and meets requirements on toxicity and biodegradability.
- The use of toxic heavy metals, toxic chemicals, Benzidine, Parathion, Mercury, Aldicarb, any aromatic solvents, Formaldehyde, GMO and their enzymes, is strictly prohibited.
- Knitting and oils must not contain any heavy metals.
- Any bleaches used in the process of the product must be oxygen based. Strictly no chlorine bleaching is used.
- Any dyes that release carcinogenic amine compounds are strictly prohibited.
- Discharge printing methods using aromatic solvents and plastisol printing methods using phthalates and PVC are prohibited,
- All operators must have an environmental policy including target goals and procedures to minimise waste.
- Packaging materials are also monitored including buttons (for example coconut shell buttons are often used), packaging must not contain PVC. All cardboard, papers, tags etc must be recycled or certified accordingly.
Once the whole process from farm to final product is monitored, and meet GOTS criteria and requirements, manufacturers are then allowed to be issued with a GOTS certification and can use the GOTS label in the final product.
Nour Luxury Bedding
We at Nour Luxury also visit our factories and fully inspect all certifications ensuring compliance.
We are proud to say our suppliers also participate in the inspection and certification program before final products are labelled as GOTS certified. All our bedding is made using GOTS certified organic cotton.
You can find this certified label sewn inside all our products, to provide a credible and consistent product assurance to the end consumer.
Sleep easier at night knowing where your sheets come from, and that you’ve played a part in improving the lives of others.If you’re looking for a blissful night’s sleep, look no further! Browse our range of ethically sourced, luxurious sheets here.