A new series for Studio Notes—we explain the meaning behind some of the terms commonly used by sustainable and ethical clothing labels.
GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) monitor suppliers and traders to make sure they're meeting certain, specific criteria. Not just about organic practices, it ensures fair trading and working conditions for all those who work under the standard.
GOTS requires traders to have:
"...a minimum of 95% certified organic fibres whereas a product with the label grade ‘made with organic’ must contain a minimum of 70% certified organic fibres." (1)
However, there's a lot more to the standard than just ensuring fabric is produced organically. It also includes a comprehensive "Social Criteria" (2) outlining labour standards, which covers everything from stopping forced labour, health and safety checks, to a minimum wage fixing convention. Below is an excerpt (3) regarding fair wages from their latest standards (at time of publishing):
3.7. Fair remuneration
Wages and benefits paid for a standard working week meet, at a minimum, national legal standards or industry benchmark standards, whichever is higher. In any event wages should always be enough to meet basic needs and to provide some discretionary income.
All workers must be provided with written and understandable information about their employment conditions compliant with national legal requirements and including wages and social benefits legally granted before they enter employment and about the particulars of their wages for the pay period concerned each time that they are paid.
Deductions from wages as a disciplinary measure are not permitted. Other deductions are permitted only under the conditions and to the extent prescribed by law or fixed by collective agreement.
Comprehensive and credible, working with GOTS fabric provides assurance of the highest quality organic resources but—so importantly—it also provides reassurance that those producing fabric are treated fairly and have a high standard of working environment. In the UK, it's so easy to take for granted these basic human rights, GOTS helps us to work with those outside our direct locality who are committed to fair industry in their native countries.
For more information on the GOTS certification, visit their website. A condensed overview of their standards is available here or you can read their most up-to-date (at time of publishing) standards here.
Why we use GOTS?
At Veryan, we want everyone who has had a hand in making our garments to have had a positive experience when doing so—GOTS assures us that our partners also believe in and uphold these rights. They're basic human rights, but sadly so much of the industry overlooks them. Investing in a piece made from GOTS certified fabric helps all those involved in the production process and the environment to boot.
Made with GOTS
The #027 dress & #028 wrap top are both made with 100% GOTS certified organic cotton and finished with GOTS certified organic cotton thread.
(3) Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) - Version 5.0. Available to read here: http://www.global-standard.org/the-standard/latest-version.html