Organic cotton is more sustainable because it avoids many of the environmental problems that conventional cotton can cause. Our soils can no longer store enough water and nutrients, so it’s harder for growers to get good long-term yields with conventional agriculture.
Organic production, on the other hand, practices crop rotation, alternating between the plants that are planted. In this way, the soil remains healthy and the plants grow even stronger without the use of pesticides. Approximately half of the world's fabrics are made from cotton. Sustainable apparel brands are using more organic cotton to get better results, in terms of durability and softness.
Of all the cotton produced in the world, less than 1% is certified organic cotton. The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) supports initiatives that help conventional cotton farmers become more sustainable; they need new knowledge and access to certified organic seed. Not using pesticides and fertilizers can also have a positive impact on their health. Using organic cotton can benefit them, as they would receive a premium for producing this variety instead of conventional cotton.
What is the Global Organic Textile Standard?
GOTS is the standard by which fabrics and textiles are approved as being made from organic fibers. Only textiles made with at least 70% organic fibers can obtain this type of certification.
The objective of GOTS is to define globally recognized requirements that ensure the organic status of textiles, from the collection of raw materials, including environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing, to labeling to provide a credible guarantee to the end consumer. It focuses on building trust and transparency throughout the entire supply chain. Textile processors and manufacturers are able to export their organic fabrics and garments with an accepted certification in all major markets.
The demand for sustainable textiles at a social level has increased a lot in recent years; more and more of us are becoming aware of what we consume, buy, and discard. This puts pressure on brands and companies in charge of the generation and production of garments, forcing them to develop and implement better human working conditions, comply with minimum sustainable and ecological standards, and bet on an industry that is based on sustainability and fair trade.
New Policy Updates for the Global Organic Textile Standard
In order to decrease falsely committed applications of the GOTS organic cotton label of brands, GOTS has recently released a new policy: Certification and Operating Parameters for GOTS Certified Gins.
The cotton from GOTS-certified facilities will now have to provide “traceability of all transaction certificate data back to the original farm source" to be able to meet Textile Exchange’s standard requirements as outlined in the Organic Content Standard.
So far, GOTS has confirmed the existence of a scheme that has falsified certificates for at least 20,000 tons of organic cotton. GOTS has awarded more than 12,000 accreditations in 79 countries. Some examples of leading apparel brands that carry the GOTS label for their products include Gabriela Hearst, Mango, and Stella McCartney.
We invite you to learn more about CommonShare's traceability system, where you can not only map and manage, but track and verify sustainability and quality claims.