The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) – Version 6.0 effective date March 1st, 2021, was developed by stakeholders in the textile and apparel industries as well as chemical suppliers, organic farmers, environmental organizations, workers’ rights groups and labor unions. GOTS stipulates requirements throughout the supply chain for both ecological and labor conditions in textile and apparel manufacturing using organically produced raw materials. Organic production is based on a system of farming that includes welfare standards for animal husbandry and prohibits genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
This International Standard identifies Sustainable Management Principles, Sustainable Forestry Management Principles, Social Criteria, and Ethical Business Behavior. It also specifies requirements for a quality assurance system applicable to processing, manufacturing, packaging, labeling, trading, and distribution of all textiles made from at least 70% certified organic natural fibers.
GOTS certification with its comprehensive approach to ecological and social parameters as well as quality requirements, is recognized throughout the world. It provides producers of textile raw materials and goods with a suitable qualification for customer approval – as well as improving the organization’s image in the eyes of the international community. The GOTS standard applies to all manufacturers of textile products including, but not limited to fiber products, yarns, fabrics, garments, fashion textile accessories (carried or worn), textile toys, home textiles, mattresses, and bedding products as well as textile personal care products.
There are two types of such certification documents:
- Scope Certificates (SCs) which evidence that a supplier meets all criteria to be allowed to process GOTS goods
- Transaction Certificates (TCs) which evidence that the goods themselves meet all GOTS product criteria
This GOTS standard was developed to ensure organic textiles will become a significant part of enhancing peoples’ lives while minimizing the impact of textile production on the environment while maintaining constant progress towards the development of better textile processing methods.
The GOTS standard includes several important guidelines for raw material producers and manufacturers of textile products including:
- Participation in the GOTS certification procedure which is based on an on-site annual inspection cycle
- Ensure compliance of the products with this Standard, the Licensing and Labelling Guide and further provisions as released by the Global Standard gGmbH.
- Auditing of processing, manufacturing, and trading
- Testing of technical quality parameters and residues
- Textile processing, manufacturing, and trading entities can apply for certification according to the Global Organic Textile Standard
- Farming projects that want to produce organic fiber cannot apply for GOTS certification, but for certification according to organic farming standards (i.e., the USDA NOP or the EEC 834/2007)
- Those companies responsible for:
- First processing stages
- Weaving and knitting
- The initial request and application for GOTS certification must be directed to a GOTS Approved Certification Body. Approved certifiers are assigned with implementing the GOTS quality assurance system and will be able to answer individual questions related to the inspection and certification procedure.
- Development and Implementation – Development using Binding requirements regarding ecological and social parameters and Implementation reconciles the need of the textile industry for one global standard with consumers’ desire for transparency.
- Verification – Certification bodies regularly audit all parties involved in the manufacturing of GOTS-certified textiles through comprehensive on-site inspections, in order to verify that all GOTS environmental and social requirements are met.
- Key criteria include Environmental and Social aspects of processing and manufacturing.
- Third-party Certification
- QSE Consulting is the practice of assisting small, medium and large organizations in developing, training, implementing, and maintaining a documented Quality Management System (QMS) for achieving GOTS certification
- QSE Consultants can prepare your facilities to have a Quality Management System (QMS) and associated documents/records to show as evidence of having implemented the system
- QSE always follows a tried and tested 10 step disciplined path in preparing facilities GOTS certification, which is insensitive to failure
- QSE Consultants assist facilities to prepare a comprehensive simplified documentation system to show as evidence of having a streamlined process that ensures quality product or service every time without fail
- QSE consultants help in identifying issues and concerns of all stake holders and take them in to account in preparing a QMS for GOTS certification
- QSE assist facilities in matching competence of personnel assigned to tasks, methods to select providers who supply quality products and services
- QSE Consultants assist to build a robust system which compels task performers to have defined roles, responsibilities, and controls to ensure quality
- QSE Consultants assist organizations to identify all manufacturing and nonmanufacturing processes and facilitate in establishing process performance metrics or process performance indicators (Key Process Indicators = KPIs) to effectively monitor and measure organizations intended Goals and Objectives
- QSE Consulting services are required to assist organizations in building a comprehensive QMS to identify risks at every process and have steps to mitigate risk
- Internal Quality Audits conducted by QSE consultants, help the facilities to find all deficiencies in their implementation which are not normally found during organizations first party audits
- QSE Consultants provide training to top management in promoting Risk-Based Thinking, Process Approach, and Continual Improvement
- QSE consultants assist organizations to effectively control document information (Documents and Records) related to changes.
- QSE consultants will ensure that certification is achieved with no or minimum nonconformities first time around
- QSE is a premier Consulting, Auditing, and Training firm engaged in the field of GOTS certification to international standards
- QSE has a unique 10 steps disciplined path for GOTS certification which is insensitive to failure
- QSE’s unique document simplification tools result in smooth implementation to achieve GOTS certification
- QSE’ s documentation covers all requirements of customers and other interested parties, statutory and regulatory requirements
- QSE’s unique simplified documented system is easy to integrate to other management systems
- QSE engages qualified and competent auditors to conduct internal audits
- QSE’s internal audits are more stringent than GOTS Certification Bodies audits and will help companies pass certification audits with minimum nonconformities or no nonconformity
- 98% of QSE assisted facilities passed the initial certification audit with zero deficiencies with a 100% passing rate first time around
- QSE covers all the requirements of the standard including the implicit intent of the standard
- QSE’s system development involves all relevant employees which lead to effective implementation
- QSE’s Document Simplification is unique comprehensive single level documentation which ensures effective implementation
- QSE’s documentation is unique, simple, lean, and easy to implement and sustains certification audits in the long run
- QSE’s GOTS internal auditing services promote the unbiased assessment of QMS implementation and the extent of implementation
- QSE ensures to provide implementation assistance or complete understanding of the documentation and requirements
- QSE’s unique management review format results into no nonconformities against management review during certification audits
- QSE does not simply tell our customers what to do but assists them on how to do
- QSE’s 10-step disciplined path for GOTS certification, achieves the organizations certification in the shortest possible time. Usually within 5 months
QSE provides post auditing services if required and can take the disputes to the highest levels for resolution
The benefits of obtaining GOTS Certification are diverse and seen in all departments of a given company.
The benefits of certification:
- Risk Reduction – GOTS is a comprehensive risk management tool using strict social and environmental criteria for the entire supply chain from “Field to Fashion”.
- Credibility – Third party certification includes dual quality assurance which provides the credibility and verification consumers expect.
- Efficiency and Productivity – GOTS improves eco-efficiency and socio-efficiency through sustainable supply chain management.
- Innovation and Differentiation – GOTS certification provides access to new markets and is recognized worldwide as a sustainability innovation providing added value over conventional products.
- Sustainable Market Development – Empowers companies to be market drivers and positions them well for the increasingly stringent regulatory environment.
Third-Party audit GOTS Certification Bodies perform the audits on the organizations to grant GOTS certifications with demonstrated evidence of conformity to all the requirements.
Typically, it takes anywhere between 7 to 8 months for certification when you start from scratch. QSE has well developed systems and GOTS templates which are easily understood for implementation. Therefore, it is possible to get certification within about 5 months through QSE.