GOTS hosted a pre-conference to the 19th Organic World Congress of IFOAM - Organics International in New Delhi. The conference was a first of its kind, solely focused on ‘Social Compliance Issues in the Organic Textile Supply Chain’. The GOTS accredited independent Certification Bodies report over 1.4 million people working in GOTS certified facilities.
More than 80 high profile attendees and speakers from 12 countries – including scholars, CSR managers and HR representatives of companies, certification bodies, standard setters, government and NGOs discussed on hot spots like income equality within countries and globally, land grabbing, dealing with non-compliances or how certification as a diagnostic tool could be supplemented by instruments or measures which provide a measurable continuous improvement process.
Three main outcomes were agreed upon to put to larger scale in presenting them in Track 7.A of the 19th Organic World Congress (OWC) by GOTS representatives Christopher Stopes and Satoko Miyoshi. These were: Social criteria in sustainability standards help improving working conditions. Improve standards with measurable criteria and keep inspection/certification as a diagnostic tool; In addition or – if possible – in combination find and apply suitable aspirational approaches and tools; Find and apply efficient means to draw the big brands and retailers into utilising their responsibility for sustainability of the textile industry.
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 organic fibre (such as organic cotton and organic wool), and includes both environmental and social criteria. GOTS was developed by leading international standard setters - Organic Trade Association (US), Japan Organic Cotton Association, International Association Natural Textile Industry (Germany), and Soil Association (UK) - in order to define globally-recognised requirements that ensure the organic status of textiles.