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GOTS Widens its European Footprint in 2013

Expansion headlined the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) 2013 annual report, which noted that the number of GOTS-certified facilities rose to 3,085 across 62 countries.

Having surpassed the 3,000 mark in 2012, the standard kept its momentum rolling by certifying 69 new facilities in 2013.

GOTS is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibers, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain. The aim of the standard is to define globally recognized requirements that ensure the organic status of textiles and provide credible assurance to the end consumer.

The report revealed a slight decrease in the number of GOTS-certified facilities in Asia–mainly caused by operators placing GOTS orders with already certified factories–was balanced by a substantial increase in newly certified facilities in Europe.

Germany, Austria and Switzerland accounted for 109 of the new facilities. Portugal registered 33 new facilities, followed by Italy and France.

Additionally, the report noted that GOTS labeled textiles are found more often in the mass market across all segments from specialized fashion corporations to full line suppliers like Metro Group’s Galeria Kaufhof or Walmart.

For those major companies, Claudia Kersten, GOTS marketing director, said that GOTS certification means an increasing competitive advantage in addition to effective supply chain management. “First of all they have a pull effect on the whole worldwide supply chain and secondly they have a push effect towards the end consumer. They are making themselves to real agents of change to sustainability in the textile industry and secure their long-time company success at the same time,” she said.

In 2013, GOTS International Working Group revealed Version 4.0 of its worldwide recognized standard for the processing of textiles made from at least 70 percent (label grade “made with organic”), or 95 percent (label grade “organic”) certified organic natural fibers.

In addition to the general bans of carcinogenics and substances from genetic engineering and nanotechnology, the revised rules prohibit the use of virgin polyester and angora. Version 4.0 also includes modified rules on permissible “additional fiber materials” noting that up to 30 percent may consist of regenerated synthetic fibers provided they are environmentally-improved and certified.