The GOTS seal of approval is intended to make textiles more sustainable. At NIKIN, we also offer GOTS-certified products in part of our range. But what is behind the Global Organic Textile Standard and how do manufacturers obtain the coveted label?
The abbreviation GOTS is used to describe the "Global Organic Textile Standard". The aim of the standard is to create a framework that is as favourable as possible to the sustainability of the working world, the working conditions themselves and the impact on the environment and animals.
How GOTS came into being
It all started with a working group agreed by four organisations in 2008 - the Global Organic Textile Standard International Working Group or IWG. It brings together participants from four countries:
- International Association of the Natural Textile Industry from Germany
- Organic Trade Association from the United States
- Soil Association from Great Britain
- Japan Organic Cotton Association
Bundled together, the competences of these participants regarding sustainable, ecological and social production of textiles are considerable and form the basis for the development of the GOTS. As a non-profit organisation in the legal form of a limited liability company, the IWG is responsible for securing and maintaining the standards and the associated certifications and licensing with the GOTS seal.
Control is a must for the GOTS label
The "royal league" of the quality seal is the controlled organic cultivation of fibres and other products, but also controlled organic animal husbandry, abbreviated as kbA or kbT. To qualify for the GOTS seal, at least 70 percent of textiles must come from controlled organic production. Products that even reach 95 percent are only labelled with the abbreviations kbA/kbT. This stands for high-quality, sustainable fabrics and garments made from them, but also for compliance with the GOTS specifications along the entire supply chain - which must be correspondingly transparent. Not only the direct manufacturers are affected, but also the partners for transport and logistics and other participants and users.
GOTS: What criteria are applied?
The GOTS label covers all stages of the textile value chain, with the exception of products made of leather or fur. The criteria applied include the following areas:
- chemical additives
- No use of materials such as chrome, nickel, PVC
- Environmental protection programme in all partner companies along the value chain
- Requirements for the technology used
- Protection from toxic/harmful substances
- Compliance with limit values for eligible materials/substances
- Application of the basic requirements of the International Labour Organisation
What does a product with a GOTS label mean for the consumer?
For the consumer who buys a certified product, GOTS means safety for themselves and their family, protection against imponderable contamination with substances that are harmful to health and the environment - and a clear conscience thanks to the strict requirements for the entire value and supply chain. Manufacturers and sellers of textiles that receive the coveted GOTS seal are not only concerned with complying with passive exclusion criteria, but must actively seek to implement requirements for a better living and working situation for their employees and prove sustainable in their dealings with the environment. At first glance, this does not make GOTS goods cheap - but if you consider the benefits associated with them, they are favourable for all parties involved in the long run.
NIKIN is also GOTS certified
We at NIKIN have also been GOTS certified since the beginning of 2019 and parts of our product range since the middle of the same year. Approximately 50% of our cotton articles have a GOTS label, and the materials of other products are also GOTS certified. We are trying to increase these values and strive for further certifications. If you are interested in our commitment to sustainability, thendiscover our sustainability values, according to which we produce and our complete list of materials andfabrics!