Who can apply for GOTS certification?
Textile processing, manufacturing and trading entities can apply for certification according to the Global Organic Textile Standard.
Farming projects that want to produce organic fibre cannot apply for GOTS certification but for certification to organic farming standards (NPOP etc).
How can textile processing, manufacturing and/or trading entities apply for GOTS certification?
Initial request and application for GOTS certification is to be addressed to INDOCERT. INDOCERT will be able to answer individual questions related to the inspection and certification procedure.
What is the content of inspection as basis for the GOTS certification?
Annual on-site inspection of the processor’s, manufacturer’s or trader’s premises performed by INDOCERT is the basis for GOTS certification. Tracing the organic fibre product flow, assessment of all inputs and accessories used, verification of the waste water treatment system as part of the environmental management, monitoring social minimum criteria and implementing risk assessment based residue policy are key elements of the inspection protocol.
What is the cost of certification?
The certification cost very much depends on location, size and type of the operation and the range of products that are processed or traded. INDOCERT will be pleased to inform what data they need in order be able to provide for an individual cost estimation.
How can entities use their GOTS certification?
Processors and manufacturers that receive a GOTS operational certification are authorised to accept orders for GOTS compliant processing / manufacturing in their certified scope. Accordingly certified by ICEA, importers and traders are authorised to trade GOTS textile products that belong to the scope of their granted certification. Entities that receive a GOTS operational certificate are free to advertise their certified status on the market. They further become listed in the public GOTS data base on the ICEA website.
Who in the supply chain must be certified as prerequisite that a final product can be GOTS certified?
In principle all operators of the processing and manufacturing chain as well as traders up to the import stage must be GOTS certified as a prerequisite that a final product can be sold, labelled or represented as GOTS certified
Why do traders that do not modify or add anything to the product needs to become certified?
Even if traders do not modify the products, they buy and sell organic / certified textile products. Therefore the quantitative organic product flow is traced by the certifiers, which mainly includes reconciliation on purchase and sales volumes of organic textiles (mass balance calculation) and tracing back if all the purchased products with GOTS certification claim are indeed correctly certified. Other ways there would be no independent gapless verification on the organic / certified product flow. As traders are not necessarily aware about the proofs and certificates required to assure that they indeed trade GOTS certified products their participation in the certification procedures ascertains that they are acquainted with and follow all relevant stipulations put in place to assure integrity of GOTS goods.
What kind of products can become GOTS certified?
In principle any product that can be considered as a textile product is covered under the scope of GOTS. A product can only be certified and labelled (with a GOTS label grade: 'organic' or 'made with organic') as a whole. It is not possible to certify and label only a part or component of a product.
What are the product requirements with regard to fibre composition?
A minimum of 70% of the fibre material used must be certified organic, other ways no GOTS certification of the product is possible. The product may not contain any conventional fibres of the same raw material contained in the organic portion of the same product (i.e., no blending).
The GOTS label grade ‘made with organic’ requires a minimum of 70% certified organic fibres. A maximum of 10% synthetic fibres can be used. Socks, leggings and sportswear can be made from up to 25% synthetic fibres.
The GOTS label grade ‘organic’ requires a minimum of 95% certified organic fibres.
What are the main product requirements with regard to (wet) processing and manufacturing?
All chemical inputs (s.a. dyes, auxiliaries and process chemicals) are to be assessed and must meet basic requirements on toxicity and biodegradability/eliminability. Critical inputs s.a. toxic heavy metals, formaldehyde, aromatic solvents, genetically modified organisms (GMO) are banned. There are also restrictions for the use of accessories. Raw materials, intermediates, final textile products as well as accessories must meet stringent limits regarding unwanted residues. Packaging material must not contain PVC.
How can a commercial buyer assure that the products purchased are indeed GOTS certified?
In order to assure that a specific delivery (shipment) received by a certified exporter / supplier is GOTS certified, the supplier should be requested to provide for a 'transaction certificate', issued by the GOTS certifier of the supplier listing the products and shipment details of your delivery and confirming the GOTS certification status.
What prerequisites do retailers need to fulfil to be allowed to use the GOTS logo or any reference to GOTS certification on certified final textiles?
Before selling GOTS certified final products that are labelled according to GOTS to the end consumer it must be assured that:
1) The last operation in the textile supply chain that is obliged to participate in the certification chain holds a valid operational certificate issued by ICEA:
1a) If the GOTS certified products are imported from another country the importer must hold a valid certificate, unless the importer sells finally packed and labelled products directly to the end consumer without having a trade function. In this case the importer is exempt from this certification obligation and the last stage to be certified is the exporter.
1b) If the GOTS certified products are purchased in the same country the last operation that must be certified is the final manufacturing stage, where the products are packed and labelled for the end consumer.
2) The product labelling contains a reference (name and/or reference number) to the last certified stage and its Approved Certifier and has been released by this Approved Certifier.
What prerequisites do importers need to fulfil to be allowed to use the GOTS logo or any reference to GOTS certification on certified final textiles?
Importers must be GOTS certified by an Approved Certifier, unless they sell finally packed and labelled products directly to the end consumer without having a trade function. In this case they are exempt from this certification obligation and the last stage to be certified is the exporter.
The product labelling must contain a reference (name and/or reference number) to the last certified stage (importer or exporter) and its Approved Certifier and must have been released by this Approved Certifier.
What prerequisites do processors and manufacturers need to fulfil to be allowed to use the GOTS logo or any reference to GOTS certification on certified (intermediate) textiles?
Processors and manufacturers must be GOTS certified and the intended use of the GOTS logo or other reference to GOTS certification must have been released by ICEA