The number of textiles facilities certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) organisation grew by 34 per cent globally last year, to a new high of 10,388. It was the first time the number of certified facilities – which now cover more than three million workers in 72 countries around the world – had run into five figures. Significant increases were seen in all regions. Top 10 countries for certified facilities were India (2,994), Bangladesh (1,584), Turkey (1,107), China (961), Germany (684), Italy (585), Portugal (449), Pakistan (391), USA (167) and Sri Lanka (126).
Approved chemical inputs now number 25,913, an increase of 13 per cent in 2020. GOTS says this confirms that these inputs are increasingly used as a risk management tool by wet processors to satisfy legal and commercial residue requirements.
“The exceptional increase in this unprecedented year shows that decision makers value GOTS as an important tool to drive sustainable transformation in a comprehensive way – from field to fashion,” said GOTS managing director Claudia Kersten.
“Using organic fibres and processing them under strict GOTS criteria definitely provides a credible and strong base for market players to be successful in the future.”
GOTS version 6.0, which features stricter social and environmental criteria, is set be implemented from 1st March. Certified organisations will be expected to calculate and narrow the gap between wages paid and ‘living wages’. Specific references to OECD Due Diligence Guidance and Good Practice Guidance for Social Criteria and Risk Assessment, as well as Ethical Business Practices, have also been explicitly included.
GOTS is a voluntary global standard for the post-harvest processing of apparel and home textiles made with certified organic fibre – such as organic cotton and organic wool – and includes both environmental and social criteria.
Key provisions include bans on the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), highly hazardous chemicals (such as azo dyes and formaldehyde), and child labour, while requiring strong social compliance management systems and strict waste water treatment practices.