Surely you have heard of the GOTS certificate before.
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the world's leading textile processing standard for organic fibres, including ecological and social criteria and includes certification (by an independent third-party certifier) of the entire supply chain. The seal was developed in 2002 by organic cotton producers, the textile industry, non-governmental organizations and certifiers.
All clothing must contain at least 70% natural fibers. The percentage of natural fibers used must be noted when using the seal. A higher amount of natural fibers also distinguishes the seal with the addition "organic".
GOTS ensures that neither you as the end user, nor the workers or our planet are harmed. For example, the use of toxic chemicals is prohibited and there are strict requirements for energy and water consumption.
In the area of social criteria, GOTS is not only based on the specifications of the International Labor Organization (ILO), which include, for example, the prohibition of child and forced labor. It even goes one step further, since GOTS version 6.0 certified companies are responsible for identifying the gap between the wage actually paid and the living wage and developing solutions to close this gap. Things that we take for granted, such as a fire protection regulation, are also required by GOTS to ensure the safety of the workers.
The nice thing is that GOTS continuously develops its requirements, but makes sure that they remain realistically implementable so that the greatest effect can be achieved.
In order for the GOTS seal to be displayed, all companies along the supply chain must be inspected once a year. According to GOTS, these can be both announced and unannounced inspections.
Note that the GOTS logo may only be attached to your textile if all companies involved in production meet the GOTS criteria.
Every processor, manufacturer or retailer along the production chain must therefore be GOTS-certified themselves. For smaller retailers or a small refinement at the end of the supply chain, this can sometimes be a bit difficult as the certification process is very expensive and can take up to 2 years.
Here it is simply important to decide where is the proven GOTS seal important to me and at what point can I be sure, even without the certification, that my garment was produced fairly and sustainably.