To build a truly sustainable textile industry, GOTS evaluates the processing and manufacturing of textiles on the basis of both, environmental and social criteria. This means assessing everything from the chemical inputs being used to the ethical treatment of workers. To become GOTS certified, it is mandatory to meet all of the criteria.
The GOTS Standard consists solely of mandatory criteria. In addition the GOTS Manual provides interpretations and recommendations for implementation. The standard covers the processing, manufacturing, packaging, labelling, trading and distribution of all textiles made from at least 70% certified organic fibres. There are two GOTS label-grades:
'organic' requiring a minimum of 95% organic fibres and 'made with organic materials' requiring at least 70% organic fibres.
The Standard sets requirements concerning working and social conditions that are equivalent to those of leading social sustainability standards. GOTS social criteria, based on the key norms of the (ILO), (UNGPs) and (OECD), must be met by all processors, manufacturers and traders. They must have a social compliance management system, with defined elements in place to ensure that the social criteria are met.
Some of the sections from social criteria under GOTS version 6.0 are highlighted here. For more details, see the latest version of the GOTS Standard.