The 411 on the Global Organic Textile Standard
You might have seen on our website or product hangtags that all Under the Nile products are certified to GOTS. But what exactly does that mean?
GOTS is the Global Organic Textile Standard and is recognized as the world's #1 processing standard for textiles made from organic fibers. In order to be certified, GOTS has ensured that we meet their environmental criteria at all stages, from growing cotton to the processing, manufacturing, packaging, labeling, and distribution of our finished products. Learn more here on the GOTS website!
All GOTS certified products must have at least 70% organic fibers, and any chemical additives such as dyes have to meet strict environmental and toxicological standards. At Under the Nile we go above and beyond —we use 100% organic cotton and we use low impact dyes for vibrant colors. There are a lot more things that GOTS keeps in check, including:
All of our bleaches must be based on oxygen (no chlorine bleaching) and we NEVER use Azo dyes, which are carcinogenic
Packaging material must not contain PVC
All waste water must be treated in a functional waste water treatment plant
GOTS also has new regulations around the packaging of the garments—right down to the hangtag— which we have been following closely to make sure that every part of our products is as healthy and eco friendly as possible. One extra step we have taken is to discontinue the use of cellophane in gift basket wrapping.
Another important aspect of GOTS is that all people involved in the production must be treated ethically. Their “Social Criteria” includes guidelines for safety, nondiscrimination, workers rights, and more. SEKEM, our fair trade certified farm and manufacturing partner in Egypt where all of our products are made, has had these practices ingrained from the start.
SEKEM has been recognized internationally for their innovative practices. Some of them include:
Incorporating eurythmy, or movement therapy, into the daily routine of workers
“Thursday circles” for employee empowerment
Cultural community activities, including art and music
A community school to prevent child labor
Free daily organic lunches for all workers
A medical center and free health care
GOTS is important because it keeps companies like ours accountable and transparent, so that you can feel confident that the purchases you make are the best for you, your family and the world.
Questions or comments? We love to hear from you, leave us a note below!
Video about GOTS, by GOTS: