How do the OCS and GOTS certifications work?

The annual emissions from the textile industry amount to 1.2 billion tons of greenhouse gases.

Raw materials, soil, water: Mismanagement of resources has alarming repercussions for the environment. Not to mention the fact that in this sector, the fundamental rights of workers are not always respected.

This situation is causing more stakeholders to become aware of the issue. Producers, brands, and distributors are increasingly aware of our role in the shared desire to reduce our environmental impact.

Meanwhile, consumption patterns and consumer expectations are changing: customers are seeking more sustainable products and, above all, greater transparency from all stakeholders in the textile industry.

This has led to the certification of OCS (Organic Content Standard) and GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) to ensure that more responsible production, design, and distribution processes have been implemented. Finally, these certifications (or labels) are proof of a genuine and authentic environmental and social commitment.

The GOTS and OCS labels are issued by certification bodies, and most importantly, in an independent and impartial manner!

What is the objective of OCS Certification?

For whom and for what purpose?

OCS certification applies to all non-food products containing at least 5% organic materials. This certification was developed and is regularly updated by the organization Textile Exchange, which owns the standard.

What is the main objective?

To enable transparent, independent, and comprehensive traceability of organic raw materials in a product.

How?

By controlling the origin of raw materials all the way to the finished product, audited and certified by a third party like Ecocert at each stage of the process.

It's important to mention that OCS does not certify the raw material itself: it must be independently verified to be recognized as organic.

What does OCS certification guarantee?

- The presence and amount of organic fibers in a product's composition;

- Impartial and credible certification for each stage of the supply chain;

- Traceability of products from farm to finished product;

- The commitment of stakeholders (producers, suppliers, distributors, etc.).

Once certified, the articles in question can bear the OCS logo proving their compliance with the requirements of this label. And depending on the proportion of organic material in the final composition of the product (for textiles, we're talking about "organic fibers"), there are two levels of OCS certification:

Level 1: OCS 100

The product contains more than 95% certified organic fibers and less than 5% additional fibers.

Level 2: OCS mixing

The product contains between 5 and 95% certified organic fibers.

What is the objective of GOTS certification?

For whom and for what purpose?

GOTS certification is currently the most comprehensive certification for a textile garment. Its specifications include environmental, chemical, and social dimensions, as well as a quality requirement. It covers the entire supply chain, from harvesting the raw materials to labeling the finished product. Textile products made from at least 70% certified organic natural fibers are eligible for GOTS certification.

What is the main objective?

To ensure the "organic" qualification of fibers used in all stages (harvesting, manufacturing, packaging, labeling, sale) and certify the presence of socially responsible and environmentally respectful production processes.

How?

All stages are audited and controlled and must adhere to strict principles: fiber cultivation, workers' rights, wastewater management, labeling requirements, etc. Even stages such as weaving, spinning, and dyeing are controlled by an independent third-party organization like Ecocert.

What does GOTS certification guarantee?

- At least 70% certified organic natural fibers;

- Working conditions and social rights in accordance with International Labour Organization (ILO) standards;

- Impartial and credible certification for each participant in the supply chain;

- The absence of production inputs harmful to the health of workers and consumers.

Certified products can then display the GOTS label, which also has two levels:

Level 1: Organic textiles with 95 to 100% certified organic fibers

The product contains more than 95% certified organic fibers and less than 5% artificial or synthetic fibers.

Level 2: Textiles with 70% to 94% certified organic fibers

The product contains more than 70% certified organic fibers and less than 30% non-organic fibers.

Of these non-organic fibers, there cannot be more than 10% synthetic fibers if the raw materials used are not certified organic, from a sustainable forest management program, or recycled.

OCS and GOTS labels and cotton in conversion

We've already published an article on cotton in conversion which you can consult if the topic interests you, but it's important that we discuss it here.

The OCS and GOTS labels encourage, recognize and consider natural fibers in the organic conversion process. This is good news, because we know that supporting farms in transition to organic farming is a way of helping to implement reasonable and sustainable farming practices.

The difference with certified organic cotton is that, as long as the fibers are not certified as organic, the concept of "conversion" must be specified on the labels.

Our initiative at Maudlin Merchandise

As part of a global commitment strategy, at Maudlin we want to extend sustainable initiatives from production to the type of products we sell. An opportunity to promote our approaches, offering transparency to customers and end consumers.

So, as well as becoming more responsible when it comes to customizing clothes, we also try to work with brands that can offer us products with certifications such as OCS and GOTS, like Kariban or Native Spirit, so that we can be a way forward in this fight for the sustainability of Planet Earth.

estampagem têxtil

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