The ongoing revision process to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS Standard) document and supporting manual for implementation received a strong positive response during its first public comment period that ended June 13 and elicited more than 300 inputs, the organization said.
About 60 percent of comments were related to technical criteria, such as ecology, chemical inputs and material quality, while around 30 percent concerned GOTS social criteria. The standard sets requirements for organic textiles throughout the entire processing chain.
GOTS said its commitment to making every version stronger ensures the standard continues to be a “dynamic and evolving document” and cements it as “the most recognized and respected global standard for textiles.”
The first draft of the revised standard, GOTS version 7.0, was made available for an initial 60-day comment period. Stakeholders, associations, organizations, companies and individuals were encouraged to contribute to the revision of the standard during this timeframe. The standard is updated every three years, ensuring that GOTS keeps up with advances in the industry and developments in the science and technology of textile processing.
Beginning in 2022, the GOTS revision process is following a newly developed and more inclusive standard-setting procedure that includes oversight of the process by a standard revision committee (SRC). The SRC consists of experts from different stakeholder groups, including scientists, textile industry professionals, sustainability, and sourcing and human rights specialists. Members work together throughout the revision process to establish terms of reference and make decisions on any changes.
“The input received from our stakeholders is heartening, guarantees an open and transparent revision process and helps GOTS remain the world’s leading processing standard for organic fibers,” GOTS managing director Rahul Bhajekar said. “This enthusiastic participation shows the relevance of GOTS in the textile sector, helping us remain even more connected and relevant.”
The comments received are being compiled and will be available for viewing on the GOTS website shortly. For the next stage of the revision process, the SRC will deliberate on all comments, and a second draft of the revision will be released for a second and final 30-day period of public input in September, which will be announced on the GOTS website and social media. The final version of the revised standard, GOTS version 7.0, will be released in March 2023 and will come into effect one year later.
GOTS is a 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 was developed by the Organic Trade Association (U.S.), Japan Organic Cotton Association, International Association Natural Textile Industry (Germany) and Soil Association (UK) to define globally recognized requirements that ensure the organic status of textiles, from field to finished product. GOTS is a, self-financed, non-profit organization.