Interview with Herbert Ladwig

Face2Face
Herbert Ladwig
Herbert Ladwig
MD
Global Organic Textile Standards
Global Organic Textile Standards

Which places of the world are doing best in adopting organic textile?

If you take the number of GOTS certified facilities as an indicator the Top Ten are India, Turkey, China, Germany, Pakistan, South Korea, Italy, Bangladesh, Japan and UK. More and more, the big brands and retailers all over Europe and the US are initiating a "pull-effect" on the whole supply chain by increasing their demand for organic respectively GOTS certified textiles.

It’s known that organizations have been taking steps to promote sustainability, Eco-friendliness etc. but what about curbing such practices that already exist?

GOTS is a dynamic standard: we foster constant progress towards development of better textile processing methods. In this continuous improvement process we collaborate with international stakeholders, including the textile and apparel industry, chemical suppliers, organic farming and environmental organizations, workers’ rights groups, and labor unions and consider practices that already exist with the goal to optimize them with regard to sustainability aspects.

Do you feel that terms and labels like 'Sustainability' or 'Eco Friendly' etc. are used as marketing gimmicks by many companies?

I would not generalize. But to separate the wheat from the chaff one should look very closely and distinguish between self-claims and independent third party certification as provided by GOTS.

What are the advantages of organic textiles for buyers, manufacturers, designers, teachers and students?

The advantage is the same for all: sustainability. In October 2012 we launched the worldwide Cottoned On Campaign, together with the Soil Association, saying that nothing beats organic cotton when it comes to sustainability claims you can trust. Organic fiber production is based on a system of farming that maintains and replenishes soil fertility without the use of toxic, persistent pesticides and fertilizers. In addition, organic production relies on adequate animal husbandry and excludes genetic modification. Based on organic fibers, Organic Textiles are being processed with the least possible impact and residual natural and synthetic chemical inputs, under good social conditions, all independently controlled.

There has already been recessionary impact in some markets; will it be a wise decision for a company to suddenly turn to organic textiles?

Definitively. Markets will always be subject to fluctuations. GOTS certified organic textiles are made of certified organic renewable materials, processed in an environmentally and socially responsible way. For businesses to take this path means building up and ensuring their long-term brand and company reputation.
Published on: 22/04/2013

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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