The number of facilities certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) grew by more than 18 percent last year, from 3,085 facilities in 2013 to 3,663 facilities in 2014. GOTS is recognized worldwide as the leading processing standard for textiles made from organic fibers. GOTS certified facilities are now located in 64 countries around the world. Growth is evenly spread across all market segments including the mass market and the big brands. GOTS certification enables consumers to purchase items that are certified organic from field to finished product. Seven representatives worldwide (China, Japan, EU, Germany/Austria/ Switzerland, India/Bangladesh, UK, USA/Canada) are driving the increase in the awareness of certification to GOTS.
Countries with the greatest increase in GOTS certification in 2014 are (in rank order) are: India (+338), Bangladesh (+89), Germany (+32), Turkey (+21) and China (+18).
The top 15 countries in terms of the total number of GOTS-certified facilities are: India, Turkey, Germany, China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Italy, South Korea, Portugal, Japan, France, USA, UK, Austria and Hong Kong. The growth rate of GOTS certified facilities particularly in India, Bangladesh, Turkey and China demonstrates that the pull effect on the supply chain continues to be strong.
"The growth in certifications demonstrates that GOTS has become the standard of choice for brands and retailers to efficiently manage their organic fiber supply chains,” says Claudia Kersten, GOTS marketing director. “Certification to GOTS also demonstrates a company’s commitment to sustainability through third party and independent GOTS certification and reference to GOTS on product labels instead of self-claims."
"GOTS has considerably strengthened its widespread global acceptance as a tool that enables and monitors sustainable production worldwide,” adds Herbert Ladwig, GOTS managing director. “This is also confirmed by the support of governments and worldwide institutions such as the endorsement by IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements), including the recommendation to governments not to start development of redundant standards and regulations, but rather to make reference to GOTS as the processing standard for organic labelled textiles."
According to the Organic Trade Association’s recent Organic Industry Survey, the market for organic textiles is the most rapidly growing non-food organic category in the U.S., growing to $1.1 billion in sales in 2014. The sector grew 18 percent in 2014, its strongest growth since 2009. Much of this growth is the result of the 2011 US Department of Agriculture policy requiring companies labeling their textiles as “organic” to certify their products to the U.S. organic food standard or GOTS, as well as grocery retailers urging their suppliers to become certified to GOTS.
Indeed, the number of companies in the U.S. gaining certification in 2014 increased 20 percent over 2013 and included: Burt’s Bees Baby™, Boll & Branch, IMM Group, Loomstate, Maggie’s Organics, MetaWear, Michael Stars, Organics and More, Portico, Synergy Organic Clothing, Under the Canopy, PACT Apparel, Welspun, and Xamax. The companies make a wide array of products, from apparel for babies through women/men, to beds and bedding, and personal care products.