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GOTS Certified Entities Increase By 21 Per Cent Globally, India Tops List

There has been a substantial increase in the number of entities certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard, where there were about 3,814 entities in 2015, as compared to 4,642 last year, thus an increase of 21 per cent

Photo Credit : Umesh Goswami


There has been a substantial increase in the number of entities certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), where there were about 3,814 entities in 2015, as compared to 4,642 last year, thus an increase of 21 per cent. With GOTS certified entities spread across 63 countries, the countries with the most GOTS certified entities are – India (1,488), Turkey (423), Germany (347), Bangladesh (331), China (269), Italy (195), Pakistan (172), Portugal (96), Korea (61) and Japan (58).

GOTS was developed by leading international standard setters — Organic Trade Association (US), Japan Organic Cotton Association (Japan), International Association Natural Textile Industry (Germany), and Soil Association (UK) — in order to define globally recognized requirements that ensure the organic status of textiles.

According to the Global Organic Textile Standard website, key elements of inspection which lead to the certification include:
• Review of bookkeeping in order to verify flow of GOTS goods (input/output reconciliation, mass balance calculation and trace back lots and shipments)
• Assessment of the processing and storage system through of visits to the applicable facilities
• Assessment of the separation and identification system and identification of areas of risk to organic integrity
• Inspection of the chemical inputs (dyes and auxiliaries) and accessories used and assessment of their compliance with the applicable criteria of the GOTS
• Inspection of the waste water (pre-)treatment system of wet processors and assessment of its performance.
• Check on social criteria (possible sources of information: interview with management, confidential interviews with workers, personnel documents, physical on-site inspection, unions/stakeholders)
• Verification of the operator’s risk assessment of contamination and residue testing policy potentially including sample drawing for residue testing either as random sampling or in case of suspicion of contamination or non-compliance

“The Indian textile industry is making large strides in both domestic and international arenas. Consistent growth of GOTS certified facilities in the country also signifies the growing focus of Indian entrepreneurs on social and environment compliances, besides delivering high quality products. I am glad to report this growth and shall keep working to take this further,” says Sumit Gupta, regional representative of India and Bangladesh and deputy technical director of GOTS.

A stringent voluntary global standard for the entire post-harvesting process (including spinning, knitting, weaving, dyeing and manufacturing) of apparel and home textiles made with organic fibre (like organic cotton or organic wool), the GOTS includes both environmental and social criteria. Some key provisions include a ban on the use of highly hazardous chemicals (such as azo dyes and formaldehyde), genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and child labour, while requiring strict waste water treatment practices and strong social compliance management systems.

“The increasing market acceptance is a result that GOTS delivers solutions for sustainability-based problems for both, business need for risk management and credibility and consumers need for transparency,” said Claudia Kersten, GOTS director, marketing and finance.

“The significant growth in numbers of GOTS-certified facilities shows the willingness of more and more decision makers not only to drive change by complying with the strict GOTS criteria but also to prove this change by undergoing an independent third party certification,” notes Herbert Ladwig, GOTS managing director.

“With enhanced global focus on sustainability, GOTS has never been more relevant and best suited than now,” adds Gupta.

India remained the top country for ninth year in a row with 1,488 GOTS certified facilities. In India the interest in GOTS certified organic textile products is on the rise in both consumers as well as industry. India also witnessed an increase of brands and stores selling GOTS certified textiles in retail.

Upon contacting government officials to ask about the steps the government is taking to increase the number of GOTS certified entities in India, BW Businessworld got no response.

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