GREENFIELD, Mass.—According to the online database of companies certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), approximately 1,500 companies with a total of 2,811 facilities in 55 countries around the world were certified to the organic apparel and textile standard in 2009, an almost 40 percent increase from 2008.
GOTS is the voluntary global standard for the entire post-harvest processing—including spinning, knitting, weaving, dyeing and manufacturing—of apparel and home textiles made with organic fiber. It includes both environmental and social provisions for post-farm to retail shelf management. Key provisions include a ban on the use of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), chemicals such as azo dyes and formaldehyde and child labor, while requiring living wages and strict waste-water treatment practices. Because all fiber certified to GOTS must already be certified organic, GOTS certification means consumers are purchasing items certified organic from field to finished product. There are 12 independent certification organizations around the world qualified to certify operations to the standard.