The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is recognized as the world’s leading processing standard for textiles made from organic fibers. It defines high-level environmental criteria along the entire organic textiles supply chain and requires compliance with social criteria as well.
The aim of the standard is to ensure organic status of textiles, from harvesting of the raw materials, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing up to labelling in order to provide a credible assurance to the end consumer.
All chemical inputs (e.g. dyes, auxiliaries and process chemicals) must meet basic requirements on toxicity and biodegradability/ eliminability. Bleaches must be based on oxygen (no chlorine bleaching) and azo dyes that release carcinogenic amine compounds are prohibited. The waste water from all wet processing units must be treated in a functional waste water treatment plant. Also, social criteria based on the key norms of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) must be met by all processors and manufacturers.