Organic Textile Certifications Grow 40 Percent

Organic Textile Certifications Grow 40 Percent

Organic cotton yarn - http://www.flickr.com/photos/squirrel_cottage/ / CC BY 2.0

More than 2,800 facilities run by 1,500 companies were certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) in 2009, increasing the number of certified facilities by 40 percent.

In 2008, there were 1,977 facilities, a number that grew to 2,811 last year.

The GOTS is a voluntary standard that covers all the steps for creating apparel and home textiles that come after organic cotton or wool are harvested, including spinning, knitting, weaving, dyeing and manufacturing.

Companies must meet a number of environmental as well as social criteria to be certified to the standard, which bans the use of genetically modified organisms, toxic heavy metals, chlorine bleaching and hazardous chemicals like formaldehyde. Companies must meet wastewater treatment requirements, cannot use child labor and must providing living wages.

{related_content} Certified locations are scattered throughout 55 countries. The ten countries with the highest number of certified facilities are India, Turkey, China, Pakistan, Japan, South Korea, Italy, Germany, Bangladesh and the United Kingdom.

The GOTS recently launched a new database of certified facilities, which can be search by keyword, product category, type of operation and country.

“The new GOTS web site will take the guess work out of creating a coordinated supply chain and make it much easier for companies around the world to do business easily and efficiently,” Christine Bushway, executive director of the Organic Trade Association, one of the members of the GOTS International Working Group, said in a statement.

The GOTS has certified about 400 dyeing operations; 200 spinning, kitting and weaving locations; and 140 printing and manufacturing facilities.

Organic cotton yarn - http://www.flickr.com/photos/squirrel_cottage/ / CC BY 2.0

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