In 2019, the number of Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified facilities globally grew 35 percent to 7,765 in 70 countries, from 5,760 the previous year.
“The enormous growth shows that GOTS successfully serves as sustainable solution from certified organic fiber to finished product,” Claudia Kersten, GOTS managing director, said. “With more and more GOTS certified operations and products, we altogether substantially contribute to sustainable development.”
The number also demonstrates that GOTS successfully serves as a key sustainable solution. The required certified organic fibers protect the climate by absorbing CO2, and every processing step–from field to fashion–has to meet stringent social and environmental criteria before a finished product is allowed to carry the GOTS label.
This big increase was seen in production and consuming regions. Countries showing the largest growth in GOTS certification by percentage in 2019 were the Netherlands, Bangladesh, Spain and Turkey. In terms of total numbers of certified facilities, the highest increase was reported from Bangladesh, followed by India and countries throughout Europe.
The Top 10 countries with GOTS-certified facilities in 2019 were India with 2,411, Bangladesh at 1,194, Turkey with 858, Germany at 565, China with 448, Italy at 444, Portugal with 301, Pakistan at 276, USA with 147 and the U.K. at 75.
GOTS certification also helps to ensure compliance with each of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. More than 3 million workers working in GOTS-certified facilities were reported in 2019 by the 17 accredited independent certification bodies.
GOTS is the stringent voluntary global standard for the entire post-harvest processing–including spinning, knitting, weaving, dyeing and manufacturing–of apparel and home textiles made with certified organic fiber, such as organic cotton and organic wool, and includes environmental and social criteria. Key provisions include a ban on the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), highly hazardous chemicals like azo dyes and formaldehyde, and child labor, while requiring strong social compliance management systems and strict waste-water treatment practices.