The International Working Group on Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS IWG) has announced the release of Version 3.0 of its organic fiber processing standard. Revisions include a prohibition on garment finishing methods considered harmful to workers (such as denim sand blasting), a requirement that any polyester in GOTS-certified products be made of post-consumer recycled material by 2014, permission for polypropylene to be used as an ‘additional fiber material,’ and more material options for accessories. In addition, the previous total ban on all chemical fabric finishes has been lifted; most fabric finishes are now permitted if they meet the stringent general GOTS toxicity criteria.
Version 3 also requires that water and energy use reduction goals are developed and monitored and that social compliance management plans be put into place which will ensure that minimum social criteria are met. All companies wishing to be GOTS-certified must fully comply with Version 3 by March 1, 2012.
The new version is the result of an extensive stakeholder input process in which organizations from around the world with expertise in organic production, textile processing, and social criteria participated in order to define strict verifiable environmental and social criteria throughout the entire apparel and home textile processing chain (including spinning, knitting, weaving, dyeing, finishing, manufacturing, and trading).