GOTS certification covers the processing of organic fibres along the entire supply chain from field to finished product. Countries or regions with the largest increase in GOTS certification in 2016 are Bangladesh (+121), China (+68), Italy (+54), Germany (+41), India (+47) and Pakistan (+30). The top ten countries in terms of total number of certified entities were India (1488), Turkey (423), Germany (347), Bangladesh (331), China (269), Italy (195), Pakistan (172), Portugal (96), Korea (61) and Japan (58).
"The significant growth in numbers of GOTS certified facilities shows the willingness of more and more decision makers not only to drive change by complying with the strict GOTS criteria but also to prove this change by undergoing an independent third party certification," said Herbert Ladwig, managing director, GOTS.
To date the 18 GOTS accredited independent Certification Bodies report more than 1.4 million people in 4354 (out of the actual 4642) working in GOTS certified facilities.
"The increasing market acceptance is a result that GOTS delivers solutions for sustainability based problems for both, business need for risk management and credibility and consumers need for transparency", says Claudia Kersten, director marketing & finance, GOTS.
For GOTS, 2016 was a revision year resulting in the release of GOTS Version 5.0 on March 1, 2017. The key changes in brief are the use of viscose and modal (additional fibre content) is now restricted to 10 per cent (25 per cent for sportswear and socks). Lyocell fibre made from certified organic or FSC sources may still be used up to 30 per cent because of its more sustainable manufacturing processes.
For the first time, GOTS will allow 'Combined Products' such as prams with textile fabrics, bassinets, car seats or furniture with textile fabric upholstery to have certified and labelled textile components.
Regarding the GOTS social criteria, an explicit section on Ethical Business Behaviour including a corruption ban was added, based on the UN Global Compact Principles. The mandatory GOTS Social Compliance Management System for the first time includes guidance on the use of tools such as SAI Social Fingerprint to help companies measure and improve their social performance.
In 2016, seven regional representatives were working on GOTS promotion. Three new regional representatives have been appointed – Lina Pfeifer in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Lori Wyman in North America and Elif Yarasik was appointed the first regional GOTS representative in Turkey. Given the fact that Turkey is the country with the second most GOTS certified facilities worldwide, it a very important sourcing market.
India continued its top position in a row with 1,488 GOTS certified facilities. GOTS is also a part of the QCI-UNFSS India National Platform on Private Sustainability Standards, which was launched in year 2016 by ministry of commerce, Government of India. GOTS Representative in India, Sumit Gupta, is a member of textile subcommittee in this platform. In India, the interest in GOTS certified organic textile products is on the rise in both consumers as well as industry. India also witnessed an increase of brands and stores selling GOTS certified textiles in retail.
Bangladesh has also maintained its fourth position with 331 facilities. Dhaka hosted highly successful National Seminar on GOTS Certification in November 2016, which was attended by 170 people from 5 countries. (KD)
Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India
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