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HomeEnvironmentBe aware that GOTS is the stringent voluntary global standard !

Be aware that GOTS is the stringent voluntary global standard !

26 March 2019, Stuttgart, Germany : Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) obtains a court decision against a textile printer. Recently, the Higher Regional Court Stuttgart, Germany passed a consumer-friendly judgement on 18 February 2019, with far-reaching consequences for any advertising using the GOTS logo and/or name.

“This judgement is groundbreaking. The judges acknowledge the quality promise of a GOTS product to be certified throughout the entire supply chain. This protects the consumers and the companies that act correctly by getting certified” says Claudia Kersten, GOTS Managing Director.

Global Organic Textile Standard GOTS is the stringent voluntary global standard for the entire post-harvest processing (including spinning, knitting, weaving, dyeing and manufacturing) of apparel and home textiles made with certified organic fibre (such as organic cotton and organic wool), and includes both environmental and social criteria.

According to the GOTS standard criteria, each textile processing step must be certified in order to exclude toxic or carcinogenic substances, among other criteria. The appeal decision was passed on a case where a textile printer had purchased blank GOTS certified T-shirts and then printed on them. However, the printer was not GOTS certified. The printed T-shirt was advertised as a GOTS certified end-product, so the Global Standard non-profit GmbH, the standard setter of GOTS, took legal action.

The judges explicitly pointed out that the GOTS Trademark is regarded as a Quality Mark. Consumers must be able to rely on compliance with the strict requirements of the standard. Printing on a textile would bear the risk that this product would no longer comply with the requirements of GOTS. The reputation of GOTS could thus be weakened or otherwise damaged by further (non-certified) processing which would constitute an infringing activity.

General explanations about GOTS on the defendant’s website did not change this, since the consumer would be given the wrong impression that the products were certified, the judges ruled.

Key provisions of GOTS include a ban on the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), highly hazardous chemicals (such as azo dyes and formaldehyde), and child labour, while requiring strong social compliance management systems and strict waste water treatment practices.

GOTS was developed by leading international standard setters – Organic Trade Association (U.S.), Japan Organic Cotton Association, International Association Natural Textile Industry (Germany), and Soil Association (UK) to define globally-recognised requirements that ensure the organic status of textiles, from field to finished product.

GOTS is a non-profit organisation which is self-financed. For more information log on to: www.global-standard.org.

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