“The main objective of ISOT is to maintain credibility of organic cotton in India, create a sense of social responsibility and last but not the least the standard stretches right from the cotton crop to clothing”, reveals the Advisor to National Accreditation Body (NAB) for Organic Products – Dr PVSM Gouri.
Speaking exclusively to fibre2fashion, she says, “GOTS starts from the stage of processing of cotton. This does not permit to maintain traceability and integrity of organic textiles. While in case of ISOT, it begins right from the first stage of cotton farming to end products in the whole textile value chain”.
ISOT has been included in the National Standards for Organic Production (NPOP) which includes norms for organic production and processing of agriculture crops and certification standards. Certification standards for organic textiles were not a part of the certification process under NPOP earlier.
Organic cotton is presently produced in 20 countries around the world in all the continents and especially in countries like India, Syria, Turkey, China, US and others. India is currently the largest organic cotton producer among all organic cotton producing countries.
Consumers around the world are veering towards buying organic products including apparels, fabrics and other related products sans pesticide residue. India being the largest producer of organic cotton offers tremendous scope for organic textiles production and exports to countries across the globe.
The bulk of organic fibers and textiles produced in India are being consumed by prestigious companies in Europe and the US such as C&A, Nike, Walmart/Sam's Club, Williams-Sonoma, H&M, Anvil Knitwear, Coop Switzerland, Greensource, Levi Strauss & Co., Target, adidas, Nordstrom and many others.
In addition, more than a thousand smaller companies, as well as companies with smaller organic textile programmes, consume and sell organic cotton products. In this background, ISOT was launched on July 30, 2012 for extending the present certification of crop products to textiles.
India exported 1417.82 metric tons of organic lint cotton from April 2011 through March 2012. In view of the growing demand for organic textiles and to support organic initiatives of the Indian textile industry, ISOT has been developed to provide a major boost to the textile industry as well to the producers.
On the necessity to introduce an Indian standard, when there are other global certifications available, Dr Gouri said, “Genetically modified products (GM) products are prohibited in organic farming and since 95% of cotton growing belts in India are cultivating BT cotton, there is a huge risk of contamination of BT cotton with organic cotton.