Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) Best Clothing Certificate by Stiftung Warentest


GOTS has been ranked best in the test “Traceability of Clothing with Textile Certificate” conducted by the German consumer product testing organisation Stiftung Warentest. “We looked at 5 certificates for sustainable clothing […] the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) convinced us the most”, writes Stiftung Warentest. GOTS is the only one of the tested certifications to offer complete transparency and traceability while complying with strict social and ecological criteria at all stages of production – from field to finished textile.

Stiftung Warentest selected three approved certified garments per audited certificate. All scopes and transaction certificates were examined. The scope confirms the GOTS-certified company’s ability to manufacture according to the GOTS criteria. Transaction certificates serve as shipping documents which prove that the garments are certified. Independent auditors confirmed full traceability of GOTS certified textiles from cotton cultivation via spinning, knitting, finishing up to the finished textile and compliance with the stringent ecological and social criteria. “We are extremely pleased to receive this great recognition from such a renowned institute”, says Franziska Dormann, GOTS representative in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Products may only be sold with a GOTS label if the entire supply-chain is certified and the necessary scope and transaction certificates have been obtained. In order to guarantee consistent product assurance of GOTS certified textiles, an independent on-site inspection, according to the GOTS standard, is carried out annually by GOTS approved certifiers.

The least convincing certificate was the Better Cotton Initiative and its BCI certification. The non-profit organization works worldwide with cooperatives and farmers of all sizes. Their cotton is widespread, probably because BCI has less stringent requirements than the other certificates organizations in this test. 1.3 million farmers had a BCI license in 2016/2017. BCI was not able to give cotton information for a single t-shirts even though cotton analysis has been part of BCI. “The cotton may therefore be mixed with non-certified fibers”.

About GOTS: 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. Key provisions 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 please see www.global-standard.org.