International Working Group on Global Organic Textile Standard
Copyright: ? 2005 by 'International Working Group on Global Organic Textile Standard' All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or included into a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise) without written permission of International Working Group on Global Organic Textile Standard.
Table of contents
3. Minimum social criteria
4. Quality assurance system
List of additional fibres
List of Abbreviations
1. Principles (top)
1.1. Aim of the standards
The aim of these standards is to define requirements to ensure organic status of textiles, from harvesting of the raw materials, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing up to labelling in order to provide a credible assurance to the end consumer.
1.2. Scope and structure
These standards for organic textiles cover the production, processing, manufacturing, packaging, labelling, exportation, importation and distribution of all natural fibres. The final products may include, but are not limited to fibre products, yarns, fabrics and clothes.
The standards focus on compulsory criteria only.
thVersion 1.1 of the Global Organic Textile Standard (dated 19 October 2005)
1.4. Label grading
These standards provide for a subdivision into two label-grades. The only differentiation for subdivision is the minimum percentage of 'organic' / 'organic - in conversion' material in the final product. Labelling of products as 'in conversion' is only possible, if the regulation, on which the certification of the fibre production is based on, enables this possibility of such a labelling for the fibre in question and if it can be demonstrated that organic fibres are not available in sufficient quantity, quality or type.
Final products, that are produced and manufactured in compliance with all compulsory criteria of these standards may be sold, labelled or represented as:
1)a) "organic" or "organic - in conversion"
b) "made with x % organic materials" or " made with x % organic - in conversion 1)materials"
with regard to these standards.
The certifiers shall secure in their respective licensing/certification agreements that the products produced according to the Global Standard are additionally labelled "Global Organic Textile Standard".
1) Definition 'In-conversion': A product from an operation or portion thereof, which has completed at least 12 months under
organic management and is under the supervision of a certification body.
2. Criteria (top)
2.1. Requirements for organic fibre production
Approved are natural fibres certified organic as well as fibres from conversion period certified according to recognised international or national standards and certified by any IFOAM accredited or internationally recognised (according to ISO 65) certifier. Certifying of products as 'in conversion' is only possible, if the regulation, on which the certification of the fibre production is based on, enables this possibility of such a certification for the fibre in question and if it can be demonstrated that organic fibres are not available in sufficient quantity, quality or type. Conversion nature of fibres must be stated as specified in chapter 1.4. of these standards.
2.2. Requirements for material composition
2.2.1 Products sold, labelled or represented as "organic" or "organic –
95% or more of the fibres - excluding non-textile accessories - must be of certified organic origin or from 'in conversion' period (with conversion nature of fibres being stated and restricted as specified in the chapters 1.4 and 2.1 of these standards). The remaining balance up to 5% may be made of non-organic fibres including regenerated and synthetic fibres as defined in annex. The remaining balance may not contain any conventional fibres of the same raw material that is used in organic quality in the same product (= no blending).
2.2.2 Products sold, labelled or represented as "made with x % organic materials" or "made with x % organic –
in conversion materials"
70% - 95% or more of the fibres - excluding accessories - must be of certified organic origin or from 'in conversion' period (with conversion nature of fibres being stated and restricted as specified in the chapters 1.4 and 2.1 of these standards). The remaining balance up to 30% may be made of non-organic fibres. The remaining balance may contain a maximum of 10% of regenerated or synthetic fibres as defined in annex. The remaining balance may not contain conventional fibres of the same raw material, that is used in organic quality in the same product (= no blending).
2.3. Requirements for processing
2.3.1. Separation and identification
At all stages through the processing chain it has to be assured, that organic and conventional fibres are not commingled and that organic fibres are not contaminated. All organic raw materials must be clearly labelled and identified as such at all stages
through the processing chain.
2.3.2. Prohibited / restricted inputs in all production stages
Substance group Criteria 1)Permanent AOX Restricted: may not constitute more than 1% of any
Aromatic solvents Prohibited
Prohibited (Chloro-) Phenols (as TCP,
Prohibited are: Complexing agents and
- EDTA, DTPA and similar persistent complexing
Substance group Criteria
- LAS, ；-MES
Prohibited Formaldehyde and other
Prohibited Genetically modified
organisms (GMO's) and
their derivates (including enzymes derived from
genetically modified micro-
Halogenated solvents Prohibited 2)Heavy metals Prohibited
- General exception for Iron
- Specific exception for copper: up to 5% in blue, 3)green and turquoise dyestuffs Flourcarbones Prohibited
Quaternary ammonium Prohibited
An input is prohibited from use if at least one of the Other toxic substances
following risk phrases is assigned to it:
R40 (limited evidence of carcinogenic effect)
R45 (may cause cancer)
R46 (may cause heritable genetic damage)
R49 (may cause cancer by inhalation)
R60 (may impair fertility)
R61 (may cause harm to the unborn child)
R62 (possible risk of impaired fertility)
R63 (possible risk to harm to the unborn child)
R 68 (possible risk of irreversible effects) Other explicit prohibited Any substances, that are prohibited with a
substances recognised internationally or a nationally valid
1) AOX is permanent, if the molecular structure of the input contributes halogenated organic compounds to
wastewater generated during fibre processing
2) ''heavy metal free' as defined by ETAD
3) The use of copper will be reviewed in 3 years with a view to withdrawing it
2.3.3. Basic requirements for auxiliary agents and dyestuffs in all processing stages
LD > 2000 mg/kg Oral Toxicity 50
(minimum requirement) 1), EC, IC > 1 mg/kg LCAquatic Toxicity 505050
Only allowed, if: Relation of biodegradability /
eliminability (OECD 301, 2)302A, 302B/303A) to < 70% and > 100 mg/l
aquatic toxicity (LC or 50
EC or ICOECD 201, 202, > 70% and 10–100 mg/l 5050; 1)203)
> 95% and 1–10 mg/l 3)Substances, known to be bio-accumulative and not Bio-accumulative
biodegradable (70% 28d OECD 302A) are
prohibited (=> TEGEWA classification III = high
waste water impact).
1) Testing methods / [testing duration]: LC50 fish, OECD 203, [96hr]; EC50 daphina, OECD 202 [48hr]; algae IC50, OECD 201 [72hr]
2) Testing methods: OECD 301 A, OECD 301 E, ISO 7827, OECD 302 A, ISO 9887, OECD 302 B or ISO 9888; testing duration in each case: 28 days
3) A substance shall be considered as bio-accumulative, if BCF =100 or if log Pow = 3
Additives allowed are paraffin, paraffin oils and substances on basis of natural raw materials only.
2.3.5. Sizing and weaving / knitting
Allowed sizing agents are starch, starch derivates, other natural substances and CMC (carboxymethylcellulose).
Polyvinylalcohol (PVA) may be used < 25% of the total sizing in combination with natural substances only.
Knitting / weaving oils must not contain heavy metals. Other inputs are allowed on
basis of natural raw materials only.
2.3.6. Non woven manufacture
Allowed are mechanical compaction, webbing and entangling such as hydroentanglement only.
2.3.7. Pre-treatment stages, wet processing
Criteria Pre-treatment stage
Ammonia treatment Prohibited
- Exception: allowed for pre-washing of wool, if
performed in close circuit..
On basis of oxygen only (peroxides, ozone, etc.). Bleaches
Exceptions for non cotton fibres have to be
approved by the certifier.
Allowed are auxiliaries, that meet the basic Boiling, kiering, washing
requirements as set in section 2.3.2 and 2.3.3 only
Prohibited Chlorination of wools
Allowed is GMO free enzymatic desizing and other Desizing
auxiliaries, that meet the basic requirements as set
in section 2.3.2 and 2.3.3 only
Mercerization Allowed with auxiliaries that meet the basic
requirements as set in section 2.3.2 and 2.3.3
only. Alcaline must be recycled.
Prohibited Optical brightening
Allowed are mechanical / thermal pre-treatment Other, not explicit listed pre-
methods and such with the use of substances on treatment methods
basis of natural raw materials.
- Allowed are natural and those auxiliaries and Selection of dyes and
synthetic dyes that meet the requirements stated in auxiliaries
chapter 2.3.2, 2.3.3, 2.3.17 and 2.3.18 of these
- Prohibited are amine-releasing azo dyes (MAC
Group III 1,2,3)
- Allowed are natural dyes and those auxiliaries, Selection of dyes, pigments
synthetic dyes and pigments that meet the and auxiliaries
requirements stated in chapter 2.3.2, 2.3.3, 2.3.17 and
2.3.18 of these standards.
- Allowed are printing methods that are based on water
or natural oils only.
- Prohibited are discharge printing methods and
aromatic solvents (plastisols, etc.).
- Prohibited are amine-releasing azo dyes (MAC
Group III 1,2,3)
- Allowed are mechanical, thermal and other physical Selection of finishing
finishing methods. Natural auxiliaries and GMO free methods and auxiliaries
enzymes are permitted.
- Only for softening, milling and felting synthetic
auxiliaries are permitted, as long as they meet the
requirements stated in chapter 2.3.2 and 2.3.3 of these
- Flame proofing auxiliaries are exceptionally
permitted if their use is legally required in the country
and for the product in question. They must at least
meet the requirements stated in chapter 2.3.2
2.3.11. Requirements for accessories
Sewing threads Allowed are natural and synthetic sewing threads.
Embroidery yarns Allowed are embroidery yarns of natural fibres and
Appliqué Allowed on basis of natural materials only.
Elastic bands and yarns Allowed are natural and synthetic materials.
Linings / pockets Allowed are natural fibres only.
Inlays / Vlieseline Allowed are inlays of natural fibres and viscose only.
Seam bindings / hatbands - Allowed are seam bindings of natural and synthetic
- Allowed are hatbands of natural fibres only.
Shoulder pads Allowed of natural fibres and viscose. Also mixtures
with polyester are allowed.
Labels Allowed of natural fibres and viscose only.
Buttons / press-studs - Allowed are natural raw materials and metal.
- Metal buttons must be free of chrome and nickel.
Zips - Allowed are tapes of natural materials and polyester.
- Allowed are chains of metal (free of chrome and
nickel) and plastics (without PVC)
Buckles - Allowed are tapes of natural materials only.
- Allowed are chains of natural materials and metal
(free of chrome and nickel).
Edgings Allowed are natural materials and elasthan.
Cords / borders Allowed are natural fibres only.
Other, not explicit listed Allowed are natural fibres only.
Material in general - All accessories must meet the residue limits as given
in section 2.3.18 of these standards
- No threatened timber
- No PVC
- No nickel or chrome
2.3.12. Environmental management
Operators must have an environmental policy, which must include a policy statement. Depending on the processing stages performed, the policy should include: - person responsible;
- procedures to minimise waste and discharges;
- procedures for monitoring waste and discharges;
- procedures to follow in case of waste and pollution incidents;
- documentation of staff training in the conservation of water and energy, the proper and minimal use of chemicals and their correct disposal;
- programme for improvement.
Wet processing units must keep full records of the use of chemicals, energy, water consumption and waste water treatment, including the disposal of sludges.
2.3.13. Waste water treatment
All wet processing units must, if they are direct or indirect waste-water dischargers, have at least an internal or external functional waste-water treatment plant. Wet processing units must measure and monitor sediment, temperature and pH. Waste water from wet-processing sites (except greasy wool scouring sites and flax retting sites) shall, when discharged to surface waters after treatment (whether on-site or off site), have a COD content of less than 25 g/kg of textile output expressed as an annual average. If the effluent is treated on site and discharged directly to surface waters, it shall also have an pH between 6 and 9 (unless the pH of the receiving water is outside this range) and a temperature of less than 40C? (unless the temperature of the receiving water is above this value). The copper content shall not exceed 0,5 mg/l. Wastewater analyses must be performed periodically at normal operating capacity and the results documented.
2.3.14. Storage, packaging and transport
Products must be stored and transported in such a manner as to prevent contamination (with conventional products and prohibited substances) or substitution of the contents.