Deciding to switch to gots certified clothing is one of the best sustainable decisions you can make for yourself, your family and the environment. But how do we know if our clothing really is fair trade and sustainable?
There are over 8,000 synthetic and potentially harmful materials used in the fashion manufacturing process, next to countless different chemicals.
Thankfully, transparency in the textile industry is improving and it is easier than ever to find certified, sustainable clothing. Among them is the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) - one of the leading sustainable certifications. Read on to learn everything there is to know about GOTS!
Photo by @Orbasics
Why We Love GOTS-Certified Clothing
It can be confusing to grasp the concept of different organic standards. There are so many different certifications out there, including the Organic Content Standard (OCS), OEKO-TEX, USDA Organic and many, many more.
However, the GOTS certification has set the highest bar for textile industry and standards worldwide and certificates environmentally friendly clothing. The criteria is clear and covers every single stage of the production process, guaranteeing that everything is eco-friendly from cultivation and raw materials to the finished piece.
And most importantly: GOTS goes beyond the clothes itself to take into account the human aspect. Many organic labels only focus on the raw fabric, while GOTS carefully looks at social criteria too.
There are many benefits of GOTS-certified clothing that impact you directly and indirectly.
- The entire textile process is safe for everyone involved
- It protects farmers, factory workers, consumers and the environment
- The process is free from any harmful chemicals
- All major world markets recognize it
To summarize: GOTS is at the forefront of sustainable production and one of the best certifications for ethical clothing!
What Is Required for GOTS Certification?
The GOTS is an independent certification of the entire fashion supply chain. This type of third-party control prevents Greenwashing, which happens when brands claim to be sustainable but actually aren’t.
The GOTS certification guarantees sustainability along the entire production process, from manufacturing to packaging, trading and all the way to the distribution of textiles. There are various ecological and social criteria for the GOTS certification:
Fibre and Chemical Use
GOTS-certified clothing must contain at least 70% organic fibres (such as cotton) which hold the 'made with organic' label. The 'Organic' label guarantees at least 95% organic fibres.
At the same time, no toxic chemicals that are harmful to your health and the environment are allowed to be used in the clothing. There are countless chemicals out there that you don’t want in your clothes or on your skin, including heavy metals, pesticides, and perfluorinated and polyfluorinated chemicals (PFCs). Thankfully, GOTS requires that any chemicals used in the clothing must be biodegradable and non-toxic - yay!
Storage and Packaging
The GOTS certification ensures sustainability from sourcing to distribution. All packaging must therefore meet a sustainable forest management certification, or be made from recycled post-consumer waste. Even transport and storage are considered, as companies must guarantee that there is no contamination with other conventional products. To reduce the amount of plastic waste, we decided to switch to paper packaging. Even though recycling can be a great method, our goal is to produce no plastic waste at all!
What we also love about GOTS is that it takes the humanitarian aspect of clothing into consideration. This means: absolutely no child labour and no discrimination. Each GOTS-certified company must be an ethical business that treats workers humanely and guarantees voluntary employment. Employees have to receive fair payment, safe working conditions and controlled working hours.
Testing and Documentation
All GOTS-certified clothing companies have to document their entire textile manufacturing process, which increases the reliability of the certification. Beside that, testing for harmful contaminants has to be done in independent laboratories. Independent accredited testing institutes also carry out on-site and other inspections even after the initial certification.
Other Ecological Criteria
Other ecological criteria include waste disposal and energy and water consumption targets. Plus, wet finishing production sites have to clean the water before they release it. This ensures they do not contaminate water with the manufacturing of their clothes.
How do I recognise the GOTS Certification?
GOTS stands for “Global Organic Textile Standard”, a globally recognised certification for sustainable clothing.
The certification was developed at the Intercot Conference 2002 in Düsseldorf, where international parties exchanged ideas on setting specific standards for the textile industry. But it wasn’t all talk, they also found a solution: the International Working Group for the Global Organic Textile Standard was founded. By 2006, the GOTS Certification was established and in 2008, the logo was presented to the public.
Today, you can recognise GOTS-certified clothing in several different ways:
- The trademark certification logo
- The lettering Global Organic Textile Standard
- The GOTS label grade (organic or made with organic)
- Details of the certification body
- The licence number or name of the certified entity
Make sure to check for the correct labelling to guarantee it really is GOTS-certified. The easiest way to do this is by checking there is a visible logo in your clothing. Alternatively, you can enter the information from the logo on the GOTS certification website.
Photo by @Orbasics
Isn't Just Any Organic Label Good Enough?
Any label which states it’s 'organic' is a step in the right direction. But there is no guarantee that it follows the same stringent processes of the GOTS certification. Organic can be a loosely used term which doesn’t take into account other social and environmental impacts, but only focuses on the material being organic. Additionally, the item could still contain harmful chemicals, depending on how it was produced.
There have been many cases of Greenwashing, which is when a company just markets itself as environmentally friendly, instead of truly focusing on its impact. Producers that label themselves organic without an actual certification may not have ethical working conditions. Or they may consume significant amounts of energy and pollute the environment with their production processes.
As a sustainable label, it’s on us to gain your trust. That’s why we turned words into actions and created our GOTS-certified, heavenly soft Basics. We are positioning ourselves against Greenwashing in our fight for fair fashion.
Photo by @banyadorderatlles
Why We Picked the GOTS Certification
Here at Orbasics, we care about your family’s well-being. We believe in better Basics for a better planet, which is why we only choose sustainable materials and high-quality fabrics for all your favourite items.
You can find every staple Basic you need in our shop, each one of them 100% organically certified according to GOTS. Check out our Instagram (@Orbasics) to learn more about our mission and sustainable products. Or browse through all our cuddly Basics to shop GOTS-certified clothing options!