The UK has launched a Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) with a commitment to reduce the environmental ‘footprint’ of clothing throughout its life. Companies representing more than a third of UK clothing sales have signed up to the SCAP 2020 Commitment and GOTS is a supporter of this initiative.
Thirty companies have signed up so far, they will use a specially developed footprint calculator to report the total global impacts of the clothes they make, sell and recover, in a consistent way. The footprint calculator tool enables companies to quantify the impact of a wide range of improvement actions. The choice of organic fibre is one of the specified improvement actions (‘Move to lower impact fibres’).
This is the first time that a UK sustainability action plan includes validated organic environmental footprint data linked to a specific improvement action targeted at meeting sustainability goals.
Another award for GOTS certified products, this time for dm's brand “Alana”: The "Green Brand Germany 2013/2014”. The award was created in 2011 by the international Green Brands Organization and is supported by other independent institutions. The yearly winner is selected by a high-ranking jury including scientists and researchers. "We are grateful to receive this honour for our consequent engagement for ecological and social sustainability over the years" says Christoph Werner, Director of Marketing and Sourcing of dm. He attributes it to the GOTS certification which is granted to many products of the Alana assortment already. "This currently worldwide highest standard for textiles provides reliable orientation to the consumer" adds Andrea Pfitzer, who is responsible for children textiles at dm.
Recently the GOTS certified Austrian Company Göttin des Glücks published their second Common Goods Balance Sheet. Based on their own information, they were the first global company to introduce this type of analysis in 2012. The idea of the economy for the common good depends on an alternative economic system built on values that promote the needs of the whole population. The aim is to provide a tool for economic, political and social change. Based on 20 guiding principles the evaluation of the management success of businesses applies values oriented around promoting the common good. Since the launch of this initiative in October 2010 more than 300 companies have created Common Good Balance Sheets. Lisa Muhr, shareholder of Göttin des Glücks says: "It was really tough work to create this balance sheet. It not only discloses the achievements but also reflects the overall corporate sustainability of the company. The Common Goods Balance Sheet requires detailed information about corporate values like human dignity, ecological and social responsibility, transparency. It is looked at suppliers, capital providers, employees, shareholders, clients, products and the social environment in which the company operates. http://www.gemeinwohl-oekonomie.org/en
The running shirt of the first GOTS certified athletic wear of the German company Engel was awarded the "Outdoor industry Award Best New Products" at Outdoor Friedrichshafen 11 July in the Sustainable Products category. This GOTS certified functional sports underwear - made from superfine non-mulesed organic merino and silk - is sold under the brand name Engel Sports. It offers many benefits compared to synthetic underwear: maximum breathability, utmost wearing comfort and an antibacterial effect that prevents build-up of odours. Thanks to the natural properties of the fibres these garments don‘t need to be washed very often – simply hanging them out in the fresh air will make them feel like new again. The wool fibres absorb UV radiation naturally, protecting against the damaging effects of sunlight on the skin.
In Germany more and more calls for an overall sustainability textile standard can be heard. Whereas the International Association of Natural Textile Industry (IVN), one of the four founding members of the GOTS international working group, considers this unnecessary. "The Fashion Industry doesn't need a new Ecolabel for environmental and social responsible production - we already have one: GOTS" Heike Scheuer, IVN Head Office, countered on the newest statements of H&M's chief executive officers Karl Johan-Persson, who claimed another worldwide label for fashion in an Interview with the big German Magazine "Der Spiegel". "In Germany and Europe GOTS has long proved its applicability despite its high demands. Even large retail companies like Aldi, Rewe, dm-drugstore chain or C&A have GOTS certified products in their selections" Heike Scheuer continues. In the view of the IVN the claim for a new label is simply obsolete because even today consumers are facing and impenetrable "Label jungle". Instead of that the big retailers and brands as well as policymakers should support and strengthen existing relevant standards. In the policy memorandum of the USDA from 2011, where GOTS was confirmed as organic standard the government of the USA set a good example.
In July 2013, GOTS and China National Textile and Apparel Council signed a Memorandum of Understanding as an official milestone to mark collaboration between two organizations. CNTAC is composed of enterprises, companies, buyers, retailers and other interested parties within the entire textile supply chain, and a crucial part of the organization’s work aims at utilizing resources and strengths of multi-stakeholders to promote CSR related ideas and concepts and assisting businesses in raising CSR awareness and improving management practice. GOTS, on the other hand, represents the stringent voluntary global standard for the entire post-harvest production processing of apparel and home textiles made with organic fiber. The synergies of improving the Chinese textile and apparel supply chain towards the ecological and ethical direction has made the alliance possible. Concretely, the agreement includes workshops, trainings, and research works as tools to achieve business awareness in China, as well as providing an effective educational platform for Chinese companies who seek fair information regarding organic textiles and production. On August 28th-29th 2013, the Annual Conference on Social Responsibility of Chinese Textile and Apparel Industry which will be held in Beijing, in the Great Hall of the People. Mr. Herbert Ladwig, the Managing Director of GOTS, is invited as a panelist to speak on Textile Value Chain and ecological progress. Dibella, awarded "Future Shaper" on the Textile Exchange conference in October 2012, is sponsoring 500 GOTS certified towels for the conference. The towels will be presented to the conference participants to demonstrate the outstanding quality of this GOTS certified product. Since 1986 the Dibella group of companies has specialized in textile goods for restaurants and healthcare.