Baumwolle Herstellung

GOTS organic cotton good for people in production

The Global Standard passes through the producing countries not only for the environment, but also with high demands for people. For us in Germany, many things are self-evident, but in other countries there are catastrophic conditions, for example when it comes to the exploitation of workers.

All processes must meet the criteria. From the field to the dealer.

Cotton has to go through a few processing processes in order to become a new favorite piece at some point. Cotton must first be ginned, spun, woven, dyed and then sewn. In order to receive a GOTS seal, certain standards must be adhered to in all of these processes. Among other things, there are social criteria that are checked regularly, both announced and unannounced.

Discrimination, not forced labor, is that clear?

Cotton mill

In order for a company in the cotton fabric value chain to be certified, the following factors, among others, must be present:

No one should be forced to work or be dependent on their employer. Workers must also be informed about their rights and their pay. Employees are allowed to form unions and negotiate wage rates. Similar to Germany, no employees may be discriminated against, for example on the basis of gender, origin or religion. It must be ensured that no violence is used or that no one is sexually harassed or otherwise treated with disrespect.

Child labor allowed in the Global Standard?

Now comes a point that could seem a bit disturbing if you're not familiar with the topic, so let's get this out of the way: child labor is not right. However, banning child labor from now on will worsen the situation for local families. For the time being, it is better to make a compromise and pay attention to the rules and procedures in the respective countries. As bad as it sounds, you have to make the best of it for the families and do everything in your power to break the vicious cycle. (Unfortunately, there is far too little space here to give the problem the necessary space, so take a look here, at UNICEF .) This is where the GOATs comes in and emphasizes that no child labor should be used and if so only under strict criteria. I think it's good that Global Standard raises this point, because the vast majority of seals don't even mention this point in their goals.

Hand on heart


As you can see, you are supporting the right cause when you pay attention to the GOTS seal when buying clothing. Unfortunately, there are many “greenwash” labels in the fashion industry that big brands come up with to satisfy the need for sustainability. On the whole, these are non-binding and simply unnecessary and not nearly as comprehensive.


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