The International Working Group consists of four reputable organisations with expertise in organic (fibre) farming as well as environmentally and socially responsible textile processing and manufacturing. All of these four organisations, three of which are industry associations and one of which is a membership charity (Soil Association) introduced their own textile standard prior to the development of the GOTS. As such, they were able to contribute their knowledge and experience to the joint project GOTS.
The members of the International Working Group that have developed GOTS and the related quality assurance system are:
|International Association Natural Textile Industry (IVN), Germany||www.naturtextil.com
|Soil Association (SA), England||www.soilassociation.org
|Organic Trade Association (OTA), USA||www.ota.com|
|Japan Organic Cotton Association (JOCA), Japan||www.joca.gr.jp|
In 2008 a new legal entity under German law was set up by the IWG. The Global Standard gemeinnützige GmbH now is a non-profit company. Charged with executing the Global Organic Textile Standard programme, Global Standard gemeinnützige GmbH conducts all activities in connection with the implementation of GOTS and its related quality assurance as well as the related licensing system. It is also the proprietor of the GOTS label, which is already trademarked in almost all relevant sales markets for organic textile goods.
The International Working Group itself is the decisive committee for all relevant structural and political issues related to the Global Organic Textile Standard programme.
The International Working Group has appointed several representatives who operate in a global network to promote GOTS in their regions and around the world. To date regional representatives have been appointed in the major sales markets United States, Japan, United Kingdom, Germany/Austria/Switzerland, Denmark/Scandinavia, Japan, Australia/New Zealand as well as in the major processing countries China and India.
The IWG has installed a Technical Committee which consists of one textile expert appointed by each member organisation of the IWG. This expert is backed up by the respective standard committee of the appointing organization, thus ensuring a broad basis for the Technical Committee’s decisions. The Committee is coordinated by the Technical Director, Marcus Bruegel.
The Technical Committee has the following main functions / authorities:
The GOTS-approved certifiers are tasked with implementation of the GOTS quality assurance system. In this context, they work with the operations applying for GOTS certification and use the standard, procedures and tools of the GOTS programme on a daily basis. The broad expertise gathered during this work is vital for the IWG in order to establish and further develop a functioning and practical system in the market. Based on these considerations, the IWG has formed a Certifiers Council to which each certifier sends a responsible expert. The Certifiers Council has an advisory function with regard to all issues related to the GOTS quality assurance system. The collaboration of all approved GOTS certifiers in this unique forum is an important prerequisite for consistent interpretation of the GOTS criteria and requirements. Coordinated by the GOTS Technical Director the Certifiers Council submits its proposals to the Technical Committee.