We’re fortunate to have some well-established certifying standards when shopping for items such as organic food and sustainably harvested wood, but we’re on our own for most purchases. When it comes to organic textiles, the United States has no official guidelines, but we do have the Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS), which consider environmental and social impacts of all aspects of organic fiber processing, including spinning, knitting, weaving, dyeing and manufacturing. Since the certification was launched in 2006, GOTS has expanded significantly, making it easier than ever to find organic textiles. More than 2,800 facilities gained GOTS certification in 2009—a 40 percent increase over 2008.
GOTS' online database makes it easier than ever to find beautiful, organic fabrics. Photo By Melanie O./Courtesy Flickr.
This spring GOTS relaunched its website and online database of all certified textile companies, which will “take the guess work out of creating a coordinated supply chain and make it much easier for companies around the world to do business easily and efficiently,” according to Christine Bushway, executive director of the Organic Trade Association, a contributing member of the GOTS International Working Group. The public database lists certified facilities all over the world as well as certified organic fabric importers and exporters.