<< Regulations Etko Documentation Inspection and Certification Procedure


1. Principles 

1.1. Aim of the standard The aim of this standard is to define requirements to ensure organic status of textiles, from harvesting of the raw materials, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing up to labelling in order to provide a credible assurance to the end consumer. 

1.2. Scope and structure This standard covers the processing, manufacturing, packaging, labelling, trading and distribution of all textiles made from at least 70% certified organic natural fibres. The final products may include, but are not limited to fibre 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. The standard focuses on compulsory criteria only. Some of the criteria are compliance requirements for the entire facility where GOTS products are processed (2.4.10. Environmental management, 2.4.11. Waste water treatment, 3. Minimum social criteria and 4.1. Auditing of processing, manufacturing and trading stages), whereas the others are criteria relevant for the specific products subject to certification (all other criteria of chapter 2 and chapter 4.2. of this standard). As it is to date technically nearly impossible to produce any textiles in an industrial way without the use of chemical inputs, the approach is to define criteria for low impact and low residual natural and synthetic chemical inputs (such as dyestuffs, auxiliaries and finishes) accepted for textiles produced and labelled according to this standard. 

1.3. Certificate of Compliance Processors, manufacturers, traders and retailers that have demonstrated their ability to comply with the relevant GOTS criteria in the corresponding certification procedure to an Approved Certifier receive a GOTS Certificate of Compliance issued in accordance with the 'Policy and Template for issuing Certificates of Compliance (Scope Certificates, SCs)'. Accordingly they are considered Certified Entities. Certificates of Compliance list the products/product categories that the Certified Entities can offer in compliance with the standard as well as the processing, manufacturing and trading activities that are qualified under the scope of certification. Subcontractors and their relevant processing and manufacturing steps become listed on the Scope Certificate of the Certified Entity assigning the certification. GOTS Version 4.0 – Page 5 of 39 

1.4. Label grading and Labelling The standard provides for a subdivision into two label-grades. The only differentiation for subdivision is the minimum percentage of 'organic' / 'organic - in conversion' material in the certified product. Labelling of products as 'in conversion' is only possible, if the standard, on which the certification of the fibre production is based, permits such labelling for the fibre in question. Only textile goods (finished or intermediate) produced in compliance with this standard by a Certified Entity and certified by an Approved Certifier (= GOTS Goods) may be sold, labelled or represented as: a) "organic" or "organic - in conversion" or b) "made with (x %) organic materials" or "made with (x %) organic - in conversion materials" and the GOTS logo (or the immediate reference “Global Organic Textile Standard” or the short form “GOTS”). Labelling must be completed by a reference to the Approved Certifier who has certified the GOTS Goods (e.g. certifier's name and/or logo) and the licence number of the Certified Entity (as provided by the Approved Certifier). In all cases the GOTS labelling can only be applied to the product/packaging by a Certified Entity and must have been approved by the Certified Entity's Approved Certifier in advance of its application. Application of GOTS labelling must be in compliance with the ‘Licensing and Labelling Guide’. 

1.5. Reference documents Beside this standard the International Working Group has released the following official reference documents that provide for binding provisions and requirements for Approved Certifiers and users of the GOTS: - Manual for the Implementation of the Global Organic Textile Standard: provides interpretations and clarifications for specific criteria of GOTS. Its purpose is to prevent any inconsistent, inappropriate or incorrect interpretation of the standard. It further contains requirements and detailed specifications for the application of the GOTS and the implementation of the related quality assurance system for certifiers. - Licensing and Labelling Guide: specifies the licensing conditions for companies participating in the GOTS certification system and defines the corresponding licence fees. It further sets the requirements for the use of the registered trademark 'Global Organic Textile Standard' (GOTS logo) in order to ensure correct and consistent application on products as well as in advertisements, catalogues or other publications. GOTS Version 4.0 – Page 6 of 39 - Policy and Template for issuing Certificates of Compliance (Scope Certificates, SCs): provides detailed instructions with regard to policies, layout, format and text for issuing Certificates of Compliance - Policy and Template for issuing Transaction Certificates (TCs): provides detailed instructions with regard to policies, layout, format and text for issuing Transaction Certificates - Policy and Template for issuing Letters of Approval: provides detailed instructions with regard to policies, layout, format and text for issuing Letters of Approval for colourants and textile auxiliaries which are approved as inputs for application in the processing of GOTS certified textile products - Approval Procedure and Requirements for Certification Bodies: specifies the approval and monitoring procedures and sets out the related requirements for Certification Bodies to implement the GOTS certification and quality assurance system.

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