What does G.O.T.S. mean and why does it matter?

This might sound depressing but it'll get better as we go along. 

The fashion/textile industry is the #2 contributor to pollution in this world, second to oil. When I heard that I was shocked, I suppose because it wasn't something I had thought about too much. When I opened my eyes and started to ask questions it was clear the fast fashion industry is literally sucking us dry.  Our world has sped up and so has our appetite for things. And this has a negative impact on the world. It means manufacturers have been producing inferior products at a fast rate with no regards to water consumption, chemical usage or the human cost.

It seems perhaps the consciousness of the consumer is shifting as we see success in brands with a focus on quality over quantity and taking into consideration the ethical side of production. Who makes our things and how are they treated?

It's important to ask where our clothes came from and it is just as important to ask the same questions of the things we bring into our homes. 

G.O.T.S. = Global Organic Textile Standard

From the official website: "Our mission is the development, implementation, verification, protection and promotion of the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).  This standard stipulates requirements throughout the supply chain for both ecology and labour conditions in textile and apparel manufacturing using organically produced raw materials. Organic production is based on a system of farming that maintains and replenishes soil fertility without the use of toxic, persistent pesticides and fertilizers."

Organic Practices  Standard Practices
Seed Preparation:
Natural, untreated GMO free seeds.
 Typically treated with fungicides or insecticides
Soil Preparation:
Healthy soil through crop rotation. Retains moisture in soil from increased organic matter.
Synthetic fertilizers, loss of soil due to mono- crop culture, intensive irrigation.
Weed Control:
Healthy soil creates a natural balance. Beneficial insects and trap crops used.
Aerial spraying of insecticides pesticides. Nine of the most commonly used pesticides are known, cancer-causing agents.
Natural defoliation from freezing temperatures or through the use of water management.
Defoliation induced with toxic chemicals.
Soft scour in warm water with soda ash, for a pH of 7.5 to 8.
Hot water, synthetic surfactants, additional chemicals (sometimes formaldehyde).
Whitening: Hot salt water bath
Chlorine bleaching creates toxic by-products, which are released into the environment.
Fair Trade:
Social criteria in place to ensure safe, healthy, non-abusive, non-discriminatory environment with living wages
No social screening. Possible child or forced labor used. Facilities may be unsafe and unhealthy.
Price: More expensive initially. But you have purchased a nontoxic item that will last in your home or on your body much longer.
Initially cheaper. Long-term impact on the environment: devastating.


I know, know. A lot of boring information. I'll wrap it up shortly.

Basically, G.O.T.S. oversees the farming, the process and the labour side of producing organic cotton. That means less water usage, no releasing of toxins into the earth and waterways and implementing a social criteria to the labour. Which to me is so very important.

The people who make our things are artisans. They work with their hands to make pieces that will last in our homes and give us beauty in utilitarian objects.

I love that by making small choices in the way we buy things can move things in the right direction. I feel super honoured to have the opportunity to enjoy these beautiful handmade pieces and contribute to the livelihoods of our makers in a positive way.




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  • I’m so glad you’re doing this – promoting natural fibres, and the people who create these textiles while being environmentally conscious. Good work!!!

    Penny Taylor on
  • Great article. Eye opening for me too. Thank you for this article. I just finished a course in Sustainabilty at Dalhousie U. I am surprised this info was not taught. I will send this on to them.

    MJ McLaughlan on

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