GOTS is expanding its global footprint with a new set of guidelines.
The voluntary global standard for organic materials reported international growth and shared new regulations in its 2016 Annual Report. By boosting its fleet by 21 percent to 4,642 certified facilities, GOTS is working to continue fostering supply chain transparency worldwide.
“The significant growth in numbers of GOTS certified facilities shows the willingness of more and more decision makers not only to drive change by complying with the strict GOTS criteria but also to prove this change by undergoing an independent third party certification,” GOTS managing director Herbert Ladwig, said.
Last year, 828 certified facilities were added under GOTS’ wing, which was a significant increase compared to 3,814 2015. Growth was evenly divided across all market segments and spanned 63 nations. Countries with the largest spike in certified facilities included Bangladesh (+121), China (+68), Italy (+54) Germany (+41), India (+47) and Pakistan (+30). The top three nations with the most certified facilities were India (1,488), Turkey (423) and Germany (347). To date, 18 GOTS approved certification bodies reported more than 1.4 million people working in GOTS certified facilities.
After the GOTS Standards Committee revised GOTS 4.0 in February 2016, the Advisory Council approved the GOTS 5.0 on March 1, 2017. The new guidelines include updates on the material composition of additional fiber contents and criteria for textile component certification. Textile products are allowed to contain a maximum of 10 percent of regenerated or man-made fibers (25 percent for select apparel, including leggings, socks and sportswear). Other materials, including lyocell and recycled man-made fibers, are excluded from this rule and may be used up to a maximum of 30 percent.
For the first time ever, GOTS will allow combined products, including prams with textile fabrics and car seats to have certified textile components. GOTS ethics were also updated, including instructions using tools like the SAI Social Fingerprint, which is used to help brands measure and improve their social performance.
The standards organization also appointed three new regional representatives last year—Lina Pfeifer will represent Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Lori Wyman for North America and Elif Yaraşık was named as Turkey’s first regional GOTS representative.