The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is one of the world’s leading standards for the production of sustainable clothing. It defines both high ecological and social requirements for the entire production chain. This includes the use of natural fibers, processing, assembly, packaging, labeling as well as trade and distribution.
It guarantees that the natural fibers come from organically controlled cultivation and that no genetically modified seeds are used. In addition the use of chemicals at all processing stages is controlled for example harmful substances such as pesticides, fertilizers and insecticides that are dangerous for the environment and health are prohibited. This applies e.g. also for the use of chemicals during the dyeing and printing of the fabrics.
The GOTS standard distinguishes between two label levels. The only criterion for the grading is the minimum proportion of organic fibers used. For products that are marked with GOTS, this is at least 95%. Products marked with “made from” have a minimum share of 70%.
The social standards include compliance with the United Nations principles for business and human rights as well as the core standards of the ILO and IECD. These are e.g. fair wages towards living wages, voluntary employment, freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, no child labor, no discrimination, safe and hygienic working conditions, prohibition of rough or inhuman treatment, regulated working hours, no precarious employment and equal treatment.