Let’s Talk About GOTS
There’s a lot of information about what is good for us with words like ‘organic’ and ‘sustainable’ falling into vogue recently. However, it can be hard to know what brands you can really trust. One solution would be to start your own farm and to knit all of your own clothing. Another – easier - solution is to look for the ‘GOTS’ certification.
GOTS stands for Global Organic Textile Standard and it is the seal of approval for clothes that contain at least 70% organic materials. But GOTS doesn’t just avoid harmful chemicals, it also ensures that throughout the supply chain, the production of your clothes meets high ecological and socially responsible standards. Now the good thing is, it’s a global standard, so no matter where you are, you can look for the GOTS stamp to know that your clothes are safe for you and the planet.
We had the pleasure of interviewing Christopher Stopes, UK Representative of GOTS, who kindly helped us to understand what GOTS is about.
Why choose organic cotton?
Organic farming is the most environmentally sustainable form of farming. Non-organic cotton is a big pesticide consumer. The dangerous chemicals can harm farmers’ health and pollute the environment. See the GOTS Compare From Field To Fashion leaflet if you would like to learn more about the difference between organic and GOTS certified cotton.
Non-organic cotton is mostly GM so farmers are locked into GM (Genetically Modified) farming. Not only is the efficacy of GM farming hotly debated – since pests often adapt to modified cotton – but GM cotton is patented by the company that owns, thereby reducing farmer’s control.
Organic farmers use crop rotations including cotton and other crops, and they don’t use synthetic pesticides.
How does GOTS work?
Global Organic Textile Standard - it is an independent not-for-profit that sets the standard for the processing of organic fibre produced on certified organic farms.
GOTS sets the standard for turning the organic fibre produced on farms into organic textiles, which are then made into clothes (and other products).
The certification also means that the chemicals used in the processing of the fibre, the dyeing and finishing are not hazardous. GOTS prohibits the dangerous chemicals highlighted in the Greenpeace DeTox campaign.
Also, because of social requirements workers are better protected. Businesses are inspected by an independent inspector and certified to meet the standard.
There is a public database for you to search and check the certification.
What is in sight for the future of cotton?
Cotton has a great future, but we must not forget about the other natural fibres, like linen, wool, silk.
How do you see the fashion/textile industry's future?
Increasingly moving to greater environmental and social responsibility. It has to happen. Fast fashion is not sustainable and means that people suffer.
What motivates you everyday to do the work you do?
Helping to get more people to see the value of organic textiles - using the Global Organic Textile Standards.
*All italics are additional information from Amberoot
So there you have it, there’s a whole lot of meaning behind a small GOTS logo. Looking out for GOTS is a great way to look out for the planet. And there are many other certifying bodies out there investigating retailers and suppliers too. The message is clear: causing harm to people or the environment in the name of textiles is unacceptable. GOTS certification empowers you to start helping the planet through the power of your own choices.
Checkout other related article - How Good is Wearing Cotton For You and For The Environment.
What do you think of GOTS? Share your thoughts by tweeting us @Amberoot, or in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!
This article is part of the article series "Certifications":
textiles | organic cotton | organic | gots | Cotton | Certifications | certifications