Cotton is one of the most common and versatile fabrics in the world today, showing up in clothing, bedding, towels, and more. However, not all cotton is created equal. Many types of cotton are grown using pesticides, chemicals, and other contaminants that can have negative effects on the environment, the people who work with it, and those who wear it. There are, however, alternatives that offer consumers the benefits of being non-toxic, more environmentally friendly, socially responsible, and higher quality. The Global Organic Textile Standard - or GOTS certification - is one of these options.

GOTS Certified

What is GOTS Certified?

GOTS certified organic cotton is considered the industry gold standard for organic cotton. All organic clothing is superior to conventionally made clothing, but GOTS certified organic cotton goes above and beyond to ensure rigorous environmental and ethical standards are enforced throughout the entire supply chain. You can recognize GOTS by its distinctive label, which includes a little white t-shirt that looks like it has been split in half. For clothing to be classified as GOTS certified, it must be made from at least 70% label grade "made with organic" or 95% label grade "organic" raw material [1]. GOTS certification also prohibits using harmful chemicals or pesticides in any stage of production—farming, processing, manufacturing, and trading [2]. All coloring techniques are done with natural dyes as well, which may mean more intense colors. Most importantly, because everything about GOTS certified organic cotton products has been controlled from start to finish, you'll know that you're getting high quality, safe, and sustainable garment well worth the price you pay for it.

GOTS Certified

5 Reasons Why to Choose GOTS

When it comes to kids, it’s important to choose safe, comfortable, and long-lasting products that you know they will wear. That’s why GOTS certified organic cotton is such a great choice! Here are five of its best features.

  1. Organic fibers - GOTS certified organic cotton is non-toxic, softer, and more durable than conventionally produced cotton, meaning your little ones will be safe, super comfy, and free to play hard all at the same time!
  2. Ecologic criteria - GOTS certified organic cotton eliminates reliance on chemicals harmful to human and environmental health. It also reduces water consumption by up to 91% as compared to conventionally produced cotton [3]!
  3. Social criteria - In addition to environmental standards, GOTS certification ensures workers are not exposed to harmful substances while processing material, forbids the practices of forced and child labor for clothing manufacturing, and requires that workers be trained in fire prevention and evacuation procedures [1]. GOTS even helps protect the animals working the farms from which cotton is sourced! While GOTS itself does not set standards for animal husbandry, its requirements for organic fiber dictate that any animals used in the production process must be managed to organic standards [1].
  4. Comprehensiveness - GOTS certification covers the entire textile supply chain, ensuring the resulting clothes are subject to rigorous environmental and ethical standards through farming, processing, manufacturing, and distribution [2]. This provides a complete layer of reassurance to the consumer.
  5. Third party certification - GOTS is an independent standard managed by a non-profit organization with a high degree of ethics. It is completely trustworthy, reputable, reliable, and internationally respected.

GOTS Certified

How to Buy GOTS Certified Organic Cotton

When you’re shopping for kids clothes, it can be tough to know what to look for. Many of us are tempted by low prices, but sometimes that means sacrificing quality, ethics, or safety. It can also be difficult to navigate the differences in organic clothing. There are plenty of trendy and expensive organic clothing brands out there selling products that, while organic, are not GOTS certified. Here are some helpful tips to help you find GOTS certified clothing with ease.

1. Educate yourself - Visit the GOTS website - www.global-standard.org - and you'll be surprised how much information you'll be able to gather in a short period of time. The site is a wonderful resource with easy-to-understand graphics, fact sheets, and videos. I personally find the "Resource Library" section of the site to be a treasure trove of basic information about GOTS certification.

2. Know the label - GOTS certified clothing is always labeled with a distinctive logo found on the hang tag and interior tag of the garment. The center is a green circle with a white t-shirt that appears to have been split in half. The circle is then surrounded by black text stating "Global Organic Textile Standard". If you're looking at any organic clothing and it is missing this label, then it isn't GOTS certified.

3. Know where to shop - In most cases, you aren't likely to find GOTS certified clothing hanging out on the clearance shelves of your favorite big box retailer. There are, however, a number of reputable online retailers for adults and children that can be easily identified with a quick search. HINT: Crann Apparel is one of them! 

How to Wash Organic Cotton Clothing 

Once you have your precious GOTS certified clothing home, it's time to properly care for it. For the best results, machine wash GOTS certified organic cotton clothes in cold water and turned inside out. It is also best to wash with like colors and line dry. Do not bleach or iron directly on printed areas of clothing, but you may use a warm iron on the reverse side of the garment if needed. Prints may fade slightly over time with normal wear and washing, but it will never wash off completely or change color (another bonus)! Stick to these general guidelines and you'll be enjoying your GOTS certified clothes for a long, long time.

Key Takeaways for the Aspiring GOTS Certified Consumer

Finding ethical and sustainable fashion can be a daunting task. This is precisely why the GOTS certification exists - to help consumers make environmentally and socially conscious choices about the clothing they buy without the need to question the brands selling them or their own intuition. I'll leave you with what I feel are the three most important key takeaways from this blog.

1. GOTS certification is completely trustworthy - The GOTS standard is internationally respected and acclaimed. It is without question the industry's premier label for the highest standard in organic clothing. 

2. GOTS certified clothing really is better - GOTS certified clothing is better than conventionally produced (and even non-GOTS certified organic) clothing in every way. It's softer, more durable, non-toxic, and made in a way that protects people, animals, and our environment. It is worth every penny you spend on it.

3. GOTS certified clothing isn't all that hard to find - If you know what to look for (e.g., label, retailer, etc.), you'll be able to find loads of wonderful GOTS certified organic cotton clothing for adults and children. Use the GOTS website - www.global-standard.org - as a guiding resource. And of course feel free to contact me directly at hello@crannapparel.com if you need help. I love hearing from our readers, customers, and friends!

Now, get out there and go shop for some GOTS certified organic clothes! You'll be thrilled that you did.

Sources: 

1. "Why GOTS? How Consumers Benefit from the Global Organic Textile Standard". Global Organic Textile Standard, https://global-standard.org/images/resource-library/documents/GOTS-fact-sheets/WHY_GOTS_HowConsumers_Benefit_from_the_Global_Organic_Textile_Standard_14.07.pdf

2. “The Certification and Labelling of Organic Textiles - GOTS.” Global Organic Textile Standard, https://global-standard.org/certification-and-labelling.

3. Delate, Kathleen, et al. “Organic Cotton Production May Alleviate the Environmental Impacts of Intensive Conventional Cotton Production.” Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, vol. 36, no. 4, 2021, pp. 405–412., doi:10.1017/S1742170520000356.

4. Seitenwerkstatt, Die. “The Gots Key Features - GOTS.” Global Organic Textile Standard, https://global-standard.org/the-standard/gots-key-features.

 

July 15, 2022 — Karly Hiser

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