Let’s Talk About GOTS
There’s a lot of information out there about what is good for us, and with words like ‘organic’ and ‘sustainability’ falling into vogue recently, 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. So, what is GOTS? It 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 mean that harmful chemicals are avoided, it also ensures that throughout the supply chain, the production of your clothes has met 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.
1) 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.
2) How does GOTS work?
GOTS is the 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).
GOTS 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, there are social requirements so workers are better protected. Businesses are independently inspected and certified to meet the standard.
There is a public database for you to search and check the certification.
3) 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.
4) 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.
5) 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. With a certification like GOTS we have the control to start changing the planet for the better through the power of our own choices.
You can read our other related articles about Conventionally Grown Natural Fibre Cotton and How Good is Wearing Cotton For You and For The Environment.