What Is GOTS Organic Cotton & Why It Matters
What is GOTS Certification, And Why Does It Matter?
With so many different ethical certifications found on product labels, it can be easy to lose track of what they all really mean. However, once you’re familiar with a couple great certifications, it’s simple to see why it matters. When it comes to buying anything with sustainability and ethicality in mind, GOTS certification is one of the best.
"The aim of the standard is to define world-wide recognized requirements that ensure organic status of textiles, from harvesting of the raw materials, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing up to labeling in order to provide a credible assurance to the end consumer." - The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) 
The GOTS certification was founded in 2002 at a workshop attended by professionals of many fields surrounding the cotton industry, where the need for a globally harmonized organic textile standard was discussed. At that time, there were several standards that did not meet everybody’s needs. The current standards were an obstacle to the current cotton trade, and caused confusion among professionals in the field. Because of this, GOTS was founded with the aim of continuously working on harmonizing the various standards and approaches regarding standard organic textile practice, as well as to develop a set of global standards. Since GOTS was founded, a number of organizations and experts have periodically participated in this work. 
While the GOTS certification makes it easy to purchase products you know without a doubt are produced ethically with people and planet in mind, it should be noted that the requirements for a manufacturer to meet the certification are rather thorough and nuanced. However, most of these requirements can be simplified into two categories: environmental and social. A few simple social requirements are:
- Ensuring that employment is freely chosen, as in nobody is working against their will
- Child labour is not practiced
- Discrimination is not practiced
- The workplace is free of harassment or violence
- All processors and manufacturers must meet the critical norms of the International Labour Organization (ILO). They must have social compliance management to ensure that the social criteria are met at all times.
- It is assessed that the workplace ensures a living wage
- No work which may harm an employee is required
Below are the environmental requirements:
- Organic products are identified and separated from traditional products
- Evaluations of toxicity and biodegradability for chemical inputs
- Environmentally hazardous substances prohibited in chemical inputs
- Processing units must demonstrate environment management, including wastewater treatment
- A cotton product using the GOTS certified 'organic' label must contain a minimum of ninety-five percent certified organic fibers where a product with the common 'made with organic' label must contain only a minimum of seventy percent certified organic fibers.
- Raw materials, intermediates, final textile products as well as accessories must meet intense limits regarding unwanted residues. 
We have prioritized using GOTS organic cotton on both our beeswax wraps and our Tea Towels. Purchasing organic cotton is so important because it helps our sustainability practice by protecting the environment, reducing water wastage, by being safe for livestock and ensuring a safer working environment for farmers. We also love bring you products free of pesticides and other harmful chemicals.
When you see a GOTS logo on your products, you know you are supporting fair, ethical and environmental manufacturing! We’re overjoyed to be able to contribute to the change in our own way and encourage you to add GOTS certified products to your home!