GOTS Press Release - China +++ Number of GOTS certified facilities increase 21% to 4,642 in 2016 +++ More than 1.4 million workers reported +++ Annual Report 2016 released


Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS):

Number of GOTS certified facilities increase 21% to 4,642 in 2016 +++ More than 1.4 million workers reported +++ Annual Report 2016 released

Felicia Shi
++86 13811138531

For Immediate Release    
Tianjin China (2nd May 2017)

The number of facilities certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) demonstrated a substantial increase, from 3,814  facilities in 2015 to 4,642 facilities in 2016. GOTS certified facilities are now located in 63 (68 in 2015) countries around the world. Growth is continuously, evenly spread across all market segments including the mass market and the big brands.
GOTS certification covers the processing of organic fibres along the entire supply chain from field to finished product.

Countries or regions with the largest increase in GOTS certification in 2016 are (in rank order): Bangladesh (+121), China (+68), Italy (+54), Germany (+41); India (+47) and Pakistan (+30).  The top ten countries in terms of total number of certified entities were: India (1488), Turkey (423), Germany (347), Bangladesh (331), China (269), Italy (195), Pakistan (172), Portugal (96), Korea (61) and Japan (58).

"The significant growth in numbers of GOTS certified facilities shows the willingness of more and more decision makers not only to drive change by complying with the strict GOTS criteria but also to prove this change by undergoing an independent third party certification", notes Herbert Ladwig, GOTS Managing Director.

To date the 18 GOTS accredited independent Certification Bodies report more than 1.4 million people in 4354 (out of the actual 4642) working in GOTS certified facilities.

"The increasing market acceptance is a result that GOTS delivers solutions for sustainability based problems for both, business need for risk management and credibility and consumers need for transparency", says Claudia Kersten, GOTS Director Marketing and Finance.

New GOTS Version 5
For GOTS 2016 was a revision year resulting in the release of GOTS Version 5.0 on 1st March 2017. The key changes in brief: The use of Viscose and Modal (additional fibre content) is now restricted to 10% (25% for sportswear and socks).  Lyocell fibre made from certified organic of FSC sources may still be used up to 30% because of its more sustainable manufacturing processes. For the first time GOTS will allow “Combined Products” such as prams with textile fabrics, bassinets, car seats or furniture with textile fabric upholstery to have certified and labelled textile components. Regarding the GOTS social criteria an explicit section on Ethical Business Behaviour including a corruption ban was added, based on the UN Global Compact Principles. The mandatory GOTS Social Compliance Management System for the first time includes guidance on the use of tools such as SAI Social Fingerprint™ to help companies measure and improve their social performance. GOTS Version 5.0, the Manual for Implementation Version 5.0 and a list of relevant changes can be found on

New GOTS Representatives
In 2016 seven regional Representatives were working on GOTS promotion. Three new Regional Representatives have been appointed: Lina Pfeifer in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Lori Wyman in North America and Elif Yara?ik was appointed the first Regional GOTS Representative in Turkey. Given the fact that Turkey is the country with the second most GOTS certified facilities worldwide it is a very important sourcing market.

Detailed information about 2016 GOTS activities can be found in the GOTS Annual Report 2016, available for download from today on

In China, together with our partner Chinese National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC), GOTS organized a first-time stakeholder round table in Xinjiang to address the challenges of organic textiles labelling in China. The Round Table drew prominent attendance from heads of GOTS certified Chinese companies, international brands, certification bodies, government officials and media. The Round Table was widely reported on in relevant Chinese media such as the reputed Caixin which published a very detailed article on it. CNTAC and GOTS will continue our cooperation with the aim to foster and develop the Chinese market for organic textiles. We also continued our strategic cooperation with Messe Frankfurt, having busy booth and GOTS lecture during the fair. Moreover, we supported the brands who intend to go organic, and processors and manufacturers who would like to be GOTS-certified through various lectures, trainings and  content development. Particularly, with the rising consciousness of environmental issues, the demands of consumer education for brands on organic textiles have been increasing. The simple show in Chinese is now online and can be downloaded here: Felicia Shi, GOTS Representative in Greater China,, says "China became the country with the second the largest increase in GOTS certification in 2016 (68) and the fifth country in terms of total number of certified entities (269). We are confident that GOTS will be contributing to China's Consumption Upgrade. "

ABOUT GOTS: 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. Key provisions include a ban on the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), highly hazardous chemicals (such as azo dyes and formaldehyde), and child labour, while requiring strong social compliance management systems and strict waste water treatment practices.

GOTS was developed by leading international standard setters - Organic Trade Association (U.S.), Japan Organic Cotton Association, International Association Natural Textile Industry (Germany), and Soil Association (UK) which formed an International Working Group to define globally-recognised requirements that ensure the organic status of textiles. GOTS is a non-profit operation. For more information on the Global Organic Textile Standard, please see

The Chinese language version of the press release is available for download here.


Global Organic Textile Standard