GOTS: Latest figures confirm further growth
The latest figures confirm the continued growth of Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified companies. In 2018, the number increased by 14.6 percent from 5,024 to 5,760. Certified companies are now in 64 countries. GOTS certification includes the processing of controlled biological natural fibres along the entire textile value-added chain – from the field to the finished product. Growth is evident in all segments, regardless of whether it is a production or consumer region. Countries and regions with the highest percentage growth in GOTS certification in 2018 were Bangladesh (+29), North America (+25), Pakistan (+23) and South Korea (+23). In terms of the total number of GOTS-certified companies, the highest increase was reported from India (+315), followed by Bangladesh (+155) and Europe (+98). The top ten countries in 2018 in terms of total number of certified establishments were: India (1,973), Bangladesh (689), Turkey (519), Germany (500), Italy (340), China (301), Pakistan (238), Portugal (215), USA (127) and South Korea (85). The 18 GOTS-certified independent certification bodies reported more than 2.02 million people working in GOTS-certified companies.
"The continued increase in the number of certified companies reflects the common desire to solve sustainability-related problems. It confirms that GOTS is considered part of the solution. GOTS serves as a risk management tool and brand differentiation in companies. Consumers value the verifiable certification from the field to the finished product," said GOTS Managing Director Claudia Kersten at the GOTS Regional Seminar in Izmir, Turkey. The number of approved chemicals on the GOTS Positive List also increased by 13 percent to 20,231. The GOTS Positive List contains registered trade names of approved chemicals that must be used by all textile processing companies in the production of GOTS-certified production. Germany, Austria and Switzerland are still the major customer markets, as reflected in the increase in GOTS-certified companies to 576. In addition, there is a growing interest among large retailers to add GOTS products to their portfolio.
GOTS is recognised as the worldwide leading standard for the entire processing (from post-harvest to spinning, knitting, weaving, dyeing, finishing and production) of apparel and home textiles made of organic fibres (such as organic cotton and organic wool). It defines environmental requirements at a high level while at the same time demanding compliance with social criteria. Key provisions include the ban on genetically modified organisms (GMOs), high-risk chemicals (such as carcinogenic azo dyes and formaldehyde) and child labour, and the requirement for strict wastewater treatment practices and socially responsible management. GOTS has been developed by leading international standards organisations – Organic Trade Association (USA), Japan Organic Cotton Association, International Association of Natural Textile Industry (Germany) and Soil Association (UK) – with the aim of defining globally recognised requirements that reflect the biological status of textiles and thus ensure credible product safety for the consumer. GOTS is a non-profit organisation that is self-funded. More information is available at: www.global-standard.org