When Coyuchi first introduced organic bedding and bath linens to the US nearly thirty years ago, the concept of cleaner, safer textiles for the home was still a novel concept. Today, more and more consumers are demanding higher standards from the products they bring home, leading to the rise of organic labelling and new ecological standards and certifications. The spread of environmental accountability and organic farming is a sign of massive progress for the health and safety of the planet, and we at Coyuchi celebrate every step in this direction.
While we applaud every effort to raise the environmental standards of production for textiles — and all industries — we also acknowledge that certain standards set the bar much higher than others. Driven by innovation and a deep feeling of responsibility for the planet, we are constantly researching the cleanest, most sustainable methods for creating our products. Taking into account not just the immediate safety of the end product, but the impact of its creation all the way from seed and soil through manufacturing and packaging. That’s why we proudly seek certification to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), the world's leading textile processing authority for organic fibers.
As consumers shift toward a more environmentally-conscious and traceable model, we can stand confidently behind everything we make, because we know where it’s been, who has touched it, and what has — and has NOT — gone into its production, thanks to the many checks and verifications throughout the entire chain. Any organic certification is better than nothing, but GOTS stands alone in its stringent requirements for both environmental and human safety throughout the supply chain.
OEKO-TEX® certification promises that “every component of this article, i.e. every thread, button and other accessories, has been tested for harmful substances and that the article therefore is harmless in human ecological terms.” While this is better than the conventional textile standard, it only certifies that the end-product has passed its test for consumer safety and that any residues are within their limits. OEKO-TEX® does not mean organic, and it only tests the finished product, offering little transparency into the history and impact of that item throughout its journey from field to warehouse.
GOTS begins with organic farming, which has been proven to reap major environmental and social benefits over conventional cotton production. Traceability that starts at the farm (and continues throughout every stage of production) ensures not only a safer end-product for consumers, but also a healthier experience for the farmers and working communities who handle these items. Organic certification of fibres is on basis of recognised international and national standards (IFOAM family of standards, EEC 834/2007, USDA NOP). That’s why GOTS prohibits the use of a long list of chemicals commonly used in all stages of conventional textile production for environmental or toxicological reasons, including flame retardants, endocrine disruptors, heavy metals, PFCs, formaldehyde, etc.
GOTS only allows the use of chemicals that they assess and approve against human health and environmental indicators - examples include low impact fiber reactive dyes, and using hydrogen peroxide for whitening instead of chlorine bleach.
Beyond the strict chemical restrictions, GOTS also requires environmental management plans and wastewater treatment at all wet processing units. GOTS has limit values for residues from unintentional contamination and social compliance criteria that correspond to the International Labor Organization (ILO). With GOTS we know that every step of the process is monitored to ensure safety for humans and the environment, on both a local and global scale — all the way down to the smallest details, like hangtags (any paper must be post-consumer recycled or certified in accordance with FSC or PEFC).
The effects of climate change are increasingly evident, and as citizens of the world, it is our responsibility to do our research and make informed decisions about the industries we support. Every step towards a more ecologically and socially responsible lifestyle is progress down a better path, but why settle for “okay” when we can do so much better?
We choose GOTS because it is the highest standard in the world.
From seed to store — it scrutinizes every input at every stage, concerned not only with the health of the end product, but taking into account the environmental impact of every facility, and the health, safety, and wellbeing of its handlers throughout the supply chain. GOTS eliminates blind spots for consumers, providing full traceability and accountability every step of the way.