-Very much a work in progress, this page will continue to grow, so please check back in from time to time.
Common regulatory bodies and what they mean:
GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard)
After being established by OTA (USA), IVN (Germany), Soil Association (UK), and JOCA (Japan), the first edition of the GOTS was published in 2005. Every three years since then a new edition has been published updating regulations and restrictions in response to new findings. The most recent edition was issued on March 1st of 2016.
- Certified garments must contain at least 70% organic fibers.
- All dyestuffs and auxiliaries must also meet ecological standards.
- Waste water treatment is mandatory.
- Certified must also meet minimum social criteria.
According to their website, IVN provides the strictest requirements for textile production. Established in 2000, the BEST standard reflects is a continuation of the work done by Internationalen Verband der Naturtextilwirtschaft e.V. (IVN) since 1990.
- The surface of a textile product (no counting notions, lining, etc) must be 100% organic.
- No more than 5% of the notions and accessories can be synthetic fibers.
- Monitoring through spinning, dying, weaving, knitting, finishing, cutting and sewing.
- No harmful substances are permitted at any time during the production.
- Genetically engineered organisms are forbidden.
- Waste water must be monitored and must meet temperature, copper content and chemical oxygen demand (COD) standards.
Owned by a US-based non-profit organization called Textile Exhange (formerly Organic Exchange) which was incorporated in 2002, the Organic Content Standard is a business to business company who uses third-party Certification Bodies to certify that an item contains organic raw materials.
- Does not consider waste water treatment.
- Does not consider social standards.
- Does not address chemicals used in the production.
- Intended to replace the previous OE 100 and OE Blended certifications.
- OCS 100 logo can be used if at least 95% of the product is organic.
- OCS Blended can be used if 5-95% of the product is organic and there are no restrictions on the remaining content.
A Virginia-based non-profit focused on “promoting safe, lawful, humane an ethical manufacturing around the world through certification and education.”
WRAP is based on 12 principles:
- Compliance with laws and workplace regulations
- Prohibition of forced labor
- Prohibition of child labor
- Prohibition of harassment or abuse
- Compensation and benefits
- Hours of work
- Prohibition of discrimination
- Health and safety
- Freedom of association and collective bargaining
- Customs compliance
Focusing primarily on the presence of harmful chemicals and additives in the sample being tested. Comprised of 16 member institutes with offices in more than 60 countries. Materials and products are tested and certified based on the amount of human skin contact they are expected to have. This criteria is broken into four classes:
Product Class I: Textile items for babies and toddlers up to 3 years (clothing, toys, bed linen, terry cloth items etc.)
Product class II: Textiles used close to the skin (underwear, bed linen, T-shirts etc.)
Product class III: Textiles used away from the skin (jackets, coats etc.)
Product class IV: Furnishing materials (curtains, table cloths, upholstery materials etc.)
As you can see to the left, there are three certifications: Oeko-Tex 100, Oeko-Tex 100Plus and Oeko-Tex 1000.
Oeko-Tex 100 test for harmful chemicals in raw materials as well as mid and end products.
Oeko-Tex 100Plus holds the same requirements as Oeko-Tex 100 but with the added layer of the entire production chain complying with Oeko-Tex 1000.
Oeko-Tex 1000 is a certification for factories and includes social requirements (the 100 variety do not handle any social requirements).
Eco Passport by Oeko-Tex is a new mechanism released in early 2016 which offers a means by which textile chemical suppliers can demonstrate that their products can be used in sustainable textile production. The passport certification has two parts; restricted substance list (RSL) and manufacturing restricted substance list (MRSL) screening, and analytical verification performed in an Oeko-Tex member institute laboratory.