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GOTS Certifications Topped 10K for First Time in 2020

In 2020, the number of Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified facilities increased 34 percent globally, to a new high of 10,388 from 7,765 in 2019.

The 16 GOTS Approved Certification Bodies reported that more than 3 million people in 72 countries were working in GOTS-certified facilities. Significant increases were seen in all regions.

The Top 10 countries for certified facilities were India at 2,994, Bangladesh with 1,584, Turkey at 1,107, China with 961, Germany at 684, Italy with 585, Portugal at 449, Pakistan with 391, the United States at 167 and Sri Lanka with 126.

GOTS-approved chemical inputs now number 25,913, an increase of 13 percent in 2020. This confirms that these inputs are increasingly used as a risk management tool by wet processors to satisfy legal and commercial residue requirements, GOTS noted.

“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,” GOTS managing director Claudia Kersten said. “Using organic fibers 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, to be implemented starting March 1, includes stricter social and environmental criteria. Certified entities will now have to calculate the gap between wages paid to “living wages” and will be encouraged to work toward closing this gap. Specific references to OECD Due Diligence Guidance and Good Practice Guidance for Social Criteria and Risk Assessment, as well as Ethical Business Practices have been explicitly included.

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 such as azo dyes and formaldehyde, and child labor, while requiring strong social compliance management systems and strict waste-water treatment practices. GOTS is a non-profit organization that is self-financed.