In 2019, the number of Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)-certified facilities globally grew by 35 percent, from 5,760 to 7,765 located in 70 countries. The number demonstrates that GOTS successfully serves as a sustainable solution. The required certified organic fibers protect the climate by absorbing CO2, and every processing step, from field to fashion, must meet stringent social and environmental criteria before a finished product is allowed to carry the GOTS label.
The growth was seen in both producing and consuming regions. Countries with the largest growth in GOTS certification in percentage in 2019: Netherlands (73%), Bangladesh (73%), Spain (71%), and Turkey (65%). In terms of total numbers of certified facilities, the highest increase is reported from Bangladesh (+505), followed by India (+438) and Europe (+396).
The top ten countries in terms of total numbers of GOTS-certified facilities in 2019: India (2411), Bangladesh (1194), Turkey (858), Germany (565), China (448), Italy (444), Portugal (301), Pakistan (276), USA (147), and the UK (75).
“The enormous growth shows that GOTS successfully serves as a sustainable solution from certified organic fiber to finished product. With more and more GOTS-certified operations and products we altogether substantially contribute to sustainable development,” said Claudia Kersten, GOTS managing director.
GOTS certification helps to ensure compliance with each of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.
More than 3 million workers in GOTS-certified facilities were reported in 2019 by the 17 accredited independent Certification Bodies. 2019 was also a GOTS revision year, resulting in the new GOTS Version 6.0, to be released in spring 2020.
In 2019, forty new companies in the USA became certified to GOTS. The new companies represent a wide variety of sectors in the supply chain, including: one knitter, four cotton gins, 14 manufacturers, and 21 traders or retailers. In Canada the number of certified facilities grew from four to seven, while Mexico held steady with one company. According to Lori Wyman, GOTS representative for North America, “The sharp rise in GOTS certified manufacturing in North America is a result of the consumer demand for domestic, organic textile production. This is consumer-driven, proven by the fact that the USA is the country with the highest number of visitors to the GOTS website worldwide, with 144,680 visitors in 2019, averaging 2,782 weekly visitors. I also predict that the rise of organic hemp farming in the USA, and the development of hemp textile processing facilities, will bring these numbers even higher in 2020.”
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 both 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 wastewater treatment practices. GOTS was developed by leading international standard setters: the Organic Trade Association (U.S.), Japan Organic Cotton Association, International Association Natural Textile Industry (Germany), and the 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 nonprofit organization. For more information, please visit www.global-standard.org and follow @globalorganictextilestandard on LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.