Acronyms often have a way of sounding important but intimidating (at least to me). In my quest to manufacture the best possible children’s socks in the market, I encountered so many acronyms in apparel manufacturing. It was overwhelming at first, but after some research it quickly became clear to me which certifications or acronyms were truly relevant and which were not. This would have never happened if I hadn’t decided to venture into the world of apparel (or sock) manufacturing and I’d like to think that I am a reasonably ‘educated’ consumer. As a result, it is only fitting that I start Q for Quinn’s official blog with clarification on what GOTS certified really means.
A general description of the certification can be found here. It is a worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibres. It has set down requirements across the entire supply chain (from fiber to sewing the garment) for both ecological and labor conditions in textile and clothes manufacturing. All chemical inputs such as dyestuffs and auxiliaries used must meet stringent environmental and toxicological criteria for the certification to hold.
The use of chemicals in clothing, even in baby / kids clothing is astounding. As a new mom, I spent a number of hours scoring the internet for the most chemical-free products for baby and I was astounded with what I found. While there were a lot of options for chemical-free skincare products, chemical-free clothing, toys and other baby gear were much harder to come by. The sad reality is that even knowing where a product is made doesn’t guarantee it is chemical and harmful substance free. A recent study by the NAFTA environment protection agency found dozens of Canadian-made and imported products, including baby bibs, mats and blankets contained chemicals with known links to cancer and hormone-related illnesses. My son, goes through 3-4 bibs a day and has worn a bib since he was a few days old. He literally wears a bib all day, every day! I feel worried knowing that his bibs could've contained harmful chemicals I was shocked and saddened to hear this and unfortunately, this is the reality of the world we live in now. I know that it is impossible to give a chemical-free life for my kids but the least I could do is make a well-informed purchase and business decision to choose GOTS certification when available.
By choosing a garment made from GOTS certified cotton you are not only choosing to keep away chemicals from your baby’s skin but also minimizing the impact of your purchase on our planet. GOTS certified garments have serious environmental benefits. Sitka.ca has summarized these benefits well:
- The chemicals and pesticides used in the processing of conventional cotton is harmful to workers and our planet
- Organic cotton uses far less water than regular cotton
- If you buy a shirt made from organic cotton or wool and you wear it until the end of its life, you could throw it in the ground and it will compost. If you throw away a shirt made from petroleum, it’s going to continue to pollute the environment and will probably live in a landfill forever.
Thank you to all the brands and conscious consumers who are making the choice everyday towards GOTS certified organic cotton.