GOTS defines world-wide recognised requirements that ensure third party certified organic status of textiles with full traceability from field to finished product. With this aim in mind, key requirements such as certified organic fibre content, the general ban on toxic and harmful chemicals, conventional cotton and virgin polyester as well as the social compliance management have been maintained, while other criteria became stricter. When it comes to GOTS Environmental Criteria, Product Stewardship and Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) requirements have been introduced for approved chemical formulators. The newly released test protocol ISO / IWA 32 for GM screening of cotton serves as the recognised screening method of GMO presence. The new version withdraws the relaxation for the additional regenerated and virgin synthetic fibre content for socks, leggings and sportswear, according to GOTS. Additionally, product quality standards for colourfastness and dimensional stability are now mandatory. Specific new requirements for tampons and food contact textiles have been included. Regarding GOTS social criteria GOTS included more dynamic elements; certified entities will now have to calculate the gap of actually paid wages to living wages (according to recognised calculations methods). Furthermore, they will be encouraged to work towards closing this gap. Specific references to OECD due diligence guidance and good practice guidance for social criteria and risk assessment as well as ethical business practises have been explicitly included. The transition period for users of GOTS to fully comply with the new version will be one year. The standard version and the corresponding implementation manual, as well as the list of changes, are available on the website and can be downloaded. “The GOTS version 6 progressively furthers our mission. Pursuant to one of the most prolific comment periods in its revision history, GOTS continues to mature in scope, following keen consultations within the GOTS standards committee, external experts, and inputs from stakeholders. I am delighted with the outcome of these deliberations and am confident that GOTS will continue to remain in the leading position that it is,” Rahul Bhajekar, GOTS managing director and coordinator standards committee said.
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