This week I received a press release regarding one mattress company’s misuse of the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification.
In the release, GOTS noted that the company named was making false claims of GOTS certification prior to actually gaining certification.
Just wanted to pass this along. While most companies are ethical, circumstances such as this make it prudent for consumers to verify that products that claim certification are actually certified by the certifying organization.
You can do this by contacting the certifying organization or checking the certifying organization website, or by asking the manufacturer for a copy of the certification.
My opinion is that all websites selling certified products should include a copy of the certification on the website.
Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) Disavows Greenbuds’ Use of GOTS Label for Baby Mattress and Bedding Products
Washington, DC(October 12, 2011) – The International Working Group on Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) today announced it has issued a decision banning New York City, NY-based children’s bed and bedding manufacturer Greenbuds LLC from becoming certified to GOTS for two years.
The GOTS International Working Group (GOTS IWG) first became aware in June 2010 that the company was making claims of GOTS certification prior to actually gaining certification. The IWG and Swiss-based third party independent inspector IMO (Institute for Marketecology) both told Greenbuds to cease making any claims of certification until final approval and to remove all references to GOTS certification. While Greenbuds did remove some references to meeting GOTS from its online postings, it has continued to reference GOTS certifications in other settings such as on marketing materials and advertisements and at trade shows in 2011.
“Greenbuds has not shown the trustworthiness and reliability which GOTS must expect from its licensees in order to protect its reputed standard’s integrity,” said Herbert Ladwig, Coordinator of the International Working Group on Global Textile Standard.
As a result of making false claims, the GOTS IWG has instructed IMO to discontinue the certification procedure (already temporarily halted) and not issue a GOTS certificate to Greenbuds CEO Miriam Mandel or any company she heads up. In addition, the organization has instructed all 14 GOTS-accredited certifiers worldwide to not commence any certification procedure with Ms. Mandel or any company headed by her for the next two years.
Key GOTS provisions include a ban on the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), highly hazardous chemicals such as azo dyes and formaldehyde, and child labor, while requiring living wages and strict waste water treatment practices. At least 95 percent of the fibers must be certified organic for label grade ‘organic’ and 70 percent for label grade ‘made with organic.’ GOTS IWG was established in 2002 with its standard announced in 2006.
Information about the Global Organic Textile Standard, including a trailer for the film The Global Organic Textile Standard – Ecology and Social Responsibility,can be found at www.global-standard.org.
The GOTS IWG is made up of the Organic Trade Association (US), Japan Organic Cotton Association, International Association Natural Textile Industry (Germany), and the Soil Association (UK). In late 2010, the IWG appointed regional representatives worldwide to drive an increase in the awareness of and certification to GOTS.