What is GOTS?

If you are looking for new bedding or bathroom textiles , you will have seen “GOTS certified” everywhere in the product descriptions on our site. That green logo with a t-shirt. The label is used to indicate organic textiles, especially cotton. But what exactly does "GOTS certified" mean? Is it better than regular cotton, and if so, is it worth the investment?

GOTS what is that ?

GOTS is the G lobal O rganic T extile Standard - the world's most important certification for textiles made with organic fibres. The organization not only guarantees that a product consists of organically grown or cultivated materials, but also certifies that each stage of textile processing meets social and environmental criteria. GOTS therefore certifies the entire chain. Because there are so many links, chain certification is actually the only way to really be sure that it is organic.

Does GOTS really make a difference?

GOTS is considered the gold standard for organic materials and sustainable production. It provides consumers with reliable, easily recognizable information about textiles and gives brands and stores credibility through independent third-party certification.

The G lobal O rganic T extile Standard is a non-profit organization. To ensure the consistency and relevance of the criteria, the organization has a Standards Committee, a Certifiers Council and regional representatives around the world.

How does a product become GOTS certified?

The first requirement is that the textile must contain a certain amount of organic fibers. To carry the standard GOTS label, a garment or bedding must be made from at least 70% certified organic fibers. If a product is labeled organic, it must contain 95% or more organic fibers. All SUITE702 textiles are organic and therefore contain at least 95% organic fibers.

What are organic fibers?

Organic fibers are the raw plant materials that are spun into yarns or woven directly into fabrics. Fibers with a GOTS certificate meet the international standards for organic farming of the IFOAM, which means that they are grown without GMOs (G enetically Modified Organisms ), herbicides or synthetic pesticides.

What is the IFOAM?

The IFOAM is the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, an umbrella organization representing nearly 800 members in more than 100 countries, including GOTS.

Which stages of the supply chain does GOTS assess ?

Not only is it confirmed that the cotton fibers are organically grown, but six critical stages of the supply chain are carefully assessed before a product can carry the GOTS label. These include:

  1. Initial processing stages
  2. Spiders
  3. Weaving and knitting
  4. Wet processing (including painting)
  5. Manufacturing
  6. Trade

Below is a brief explanation of each step:

1. Initial processing stages
A GOTS certification starts with the first processing of raw plant fibers. In cotton, the seeds are removed from the fibrous cotton balls. (Cotton balls are the round balls that you find on plants; you can buy cotton balls at the drugstore).

2. Spiders
Once the fibers are free of seeds, they are converted into yarns using an open-end spinning technique.

3. Weaving and knitting
The yarns are then processed into fabric using a weaving or knitting technique. GOTS allows both hand-woven and machine-woven textile production, but in the latter case all machine oils used must be free of heavy metals.

4. Wet processing
The next phase is wet processing. This step may involve various treatments such as dyeing, bleaching, washing, printing, bonding.

5. Confection
Manufacturing is the final step in the production process of GOTS certified textiles. This step varies from product to product and can range from cutting, trimming and filling to stitching, labeling and packaging.

Retail, or trade, is the final phase of the chain that GOTS controls. It is precisely the fact that the entire chain is monitored that makes GOTS so valuable.

Organizations that purchase and sell materials may not change the labeling or the product itself before making it available to retailers or consumers.

Stores and direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands that sell GOTS textiles are not required to obtain the certification themselves. However, many voluntarily apply for certification to give their customers clear assurance about the quality and environmental friendliness of their products. SUITE702 BV of course also has a GOTS certification. Our GOTS number is: CU 1010023. See also the GOTS website .

Is GOTS only for cotton?

The G lobal O rganic T extile Standard has been developed for various natural fibers, including fibers from organically grown plants and organically raised animals. Although cotton is the most common organic textile, GOTS certified products can also be made from linen, silk, cashmere, wool, reverse lamb and down. For example, the washed linen from SUITE702, which consists of 55% linen and 45% cotton, is also fully GOTS certified.

What types of products are GOTS certified?

From certified organic clothing to bed linen and bedding, you can find all kinds of GOTS-certified products on the market. Actually far too little. The total supply of organic textiles is less than 5%. Of course that has to increase. As mentioned, all our bed and bath textiles are GOTS certified. Here's a brief overview:

Note: The eye pillows are made from the trimmings of the (certified) percale cotton fitted sheet. These are made in a sheltered workshop in Portugal by people with a distance to the labor market. This sheltered workshop is not GOTS certified, so we cannot offer it as such. But of course the cotton is organic.

Is GOTS- certified organic bedding worth it?

Since GOTS-certified organic products are made using very specific and ethical processes, the additional costs for organic bedding are due to more expensive and sustainable production methods. We believe GOTS-certified organic bedding is more than worth the investment. In fact, as far as we are concerned, it is self-evident that we make products in this world that respect nature and fellow humans.

Organic cotton is scarce and considerably more expensive. In addition to the fact that purchasing is more expensive, we, like all other links in the chain, must have our administration very well in order. After all, the entire chain must be sustainable and socially responsible. Only then can you really speak of a sustainable organic product. That is why we are disturbed by the fact that too many brands engage in greenwashing. Brands often claim that they are sustainable, or with their own invented claims and logos such as “XXX says it's okay”. There is no checking at all by external parties. We also often see brands saying that it is free of chemicals and therefore sustainable and responsible. But this only says something about the last link. The entire textile chain is extremely polluting (and socially very questionable). Simply checking whether chemicals have been left in the textile is not enough. We just have to raise our ambitions. We are convinced that we can do this with a GOTS certification. The next step is a B-Corp application. Together we make the difference.