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Global Organic Textile Standard Releases New Standard

Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is stepping up its fiber certification requirements.

GOTS released Version 5.0 of its universal guideline for textiles produced with regenerated fiber, Fibre2Fashion reported. In its updated standard, GOTS added stricter regulations for regenerated fibers and a new combined products category to promote raw materials sustainability.

“Revision of GOTS always walks a fine line between strict and verifiable criteria and the needs of the market,” GOTS director of standards development and quality assurance Rahul Bhajekar said. “On the other hand, the new possibility of combined products with fabric components certified to GOTS helps include a range of products that could not carry the GOTS label in the past.”

Over the past 12 years, GOTS has helped textile manufacturers and processors worldwide ensure that their fibers and garments are certified organic. With the standard, the industry is assured that from harvesting to raw materials, textiles maintain their organic status throughout all parts of the supply chain.

Key criteria for fiber production include organic certification of fibers based on international standards, including IFOAM family of standards and EEC 834/2007, certification of fibers from the conversion period and textiles with the GOTS label grade ‘organic’ must contain 95 percent or more of certified organic fibers. Harmful chemical use is also banned from the standard’s fiber production guidelines to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint.

Unlike previous versions of the standard, Version 5.0 is adding stricter regulations on environmentally improved cellulosic fibers. Modal and Viscose use is now confined to 10 percent and 25 percent for sportswear. Version 5.0 also said Lyocell may be used by companies up to 30 percent, due to is more eco-friendly production cycle.

Combined products are also making a debut in Version 5.0. These items, including car seats and furniture with textile fabric upholster, will now be allowed to contain certified fabric components.

New GOTS social criteria includes an Ethical Business Behavior section based on the UN Global Compact Principles and a guideline for tools, including the SAI Social Fingerprint, which helps businesses track social performance in their supply chains.

Version 5.0 was generated from a year-long revision process held with relevant international stakeholders. Participants included organic production industry experts, NGOs and consumer interests. Other organizations that revised Version 5.0 included the Clean Clothes Campaign, FairWear Foundation and Greenpeace.