Textiles and regenerative agriculture
The intense use of chemicals in agriculture to produce textile fibres and the awareness of their impact on the environment has supported fibres' production with biological methods.
The leading certification system of the origin of textile materials from organic cultivation is the GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard). GOTS was established in 2006, but the idea of a harmonized and internationally recognized certification label for organic textiles was born in 2002, in a meeting between representatives of organic cotton producers, the textile industry, consumers, standardization bodies and certifiers.
The standard defines organic fibres as natural fibres grown without synthetic pesticides, insecticides or herbicides, and GMOs (Modified Genetic Organisms) according to organic farming principles. It stresses that organic farming is a production process that supports the health of ecosystems, soils and people.
The GOTS certification is awarded to textile products that contain no less than 70% of fibres from organic farming. It can be extended to manufacturing companies that have to adhere to strict criteria regarding the chemicals used and ensure a chain of custody and separation of biological materials during transport, storage and processing to avoid contamination.
More recently, the Organic Content Standard (OCS) was also implemented, promoted by Textile Exchange, one of the most important international non-profit organizations for responsible and sustainable development in the textile sector.
OCS provides for the release of an environmental declaration verified by a third party, which ensures natural fibres' content from organic farming in the products considered and traceability throughout the entire production process. The Organic Content Standard applies to products that contain at least 5% of certified organic natural fibres and that the manufacturing activities and processes have adopted management procedures that comply with the established requirements. The percentage of biological material contained must be declared on the label.
The Italian certification bodies accredited for GOTS and OCS certifications are ICEA Institute for Ethical and Environmental Certification and CCPB.
The following are also qualified for certification in Italy, although they are based in other countries:
- for GOTS: Control Union Certifications, Ecocert Greenlife, GCL International Ltd., Soil Association Certification, USB Certification Denetim Gözetim Ve Belgelendirme Hizmetleri Anonim Şirket
- for OCS: Ecocert Greenlife, GCL International Ltd., Soil Association Certification, USB Certification Denetim Gözetim Ve Belgelendirme Hizmetleri Anonim Şirket