The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and the Organic Trade Board (OTB) announced a partnership meant to increase awareness of GOTS and the amount of organic textile products certified to it in the U.K.
GOTS is the worldwide 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 worldwide recognized requirements that ensure the organic status of textiles, from harvesting of the raw materials, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing up to labelling to provide a credible assurance to the end consumer.
Due to a move away from European Union funding, the OTB has been able to include brands and non-food sectors such as textiles, and health and beauty, in its campaigns, which opened up the possibility of the partnership. It will involve teaming up on communication, marketing, support, events and campaigns raising awareness of the benefits of organic textiles, which will benefit members of OTB, GOTS businesses certified by a GOTS approved certification body, and stakeholders of both organizations.
“This partnership will open up a wealth of support and content to our operators, and will allow two organizations with the same vision to pool resource, share best practice and strengthen our mutual offering,” Christopher Stopes, GOTS UK representative, said.
Cristina Dimetto, general manager of OTB, said OTB’s ambition is to make organic a lifestyle, not just a purchase.
“The partnership with GOTS reinforces the OTB commitment to bring the whole organic industry together, and to grow awareness and sales for organic in all its sectors,” Dimetto said. “We are really looking forward to working with GOTS and to welcoming new members from the organic textile industry. Working together as a unified industry toward the same goal will make our future campaigns even stronger.”
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, and child labor, while requiring strong social compliance management systems and strict waste water treatment practices.
The OTB was set up in 2009 to represent the commercial interests of the organic sector. The vision of the OTB is to grow awareness and sales of organic products in the U.K.