The number of facilities certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) kept on growing last year, from 3,663 facilities in 2014 to 3,814 facilities in 2015. GOTS is recognised worldwide as the leading processing standard for textiles made with organic fibres. GOTS certified facilities are now located in 68 (63 in 2014) countries around the world. Growth is evenly spread across all market segments including the mass market and the big brands. GOTS certification enables consumers to purchase items that are certified organic from field to finished product. Countries or regions with the largest increase in GOTS certification in 2015 are (in rank order): India (+74), Europe (+58) Turkey (+27) and Bangladesh (+21). The Top Fifteen countries in terms of the total number of GOTS certified facilities are: India (1,441), Turkey (489), Germany (306), Bangladesh (210), China (201) Pakistan (142), Italy (141), Portugal (89), South Korea (80), Japan (65), US (60), France (56), UK (49), Austria (49) and Denmark (41). ´Again, the figures show that GOTS´ credible and independent certification of the entire supply chain is an important driver for the business case for sustainability ´ in contrast to mere self self-claims´, says Claudia Kersten, GOTS Marketing Director.
To date the GOTS accredited independent Certification Bodies report 847,749 people working in 2,799 (out of the actual 3,814) GOTS certified facilities. The number is likely to reach one million when the final figures are received. ´This number is a further indication of the relevance of the Global Organic Textile Standard, in addition to the number of GOTS certified operations. We will, with the cooperation of the independent GOTS certifiers and academic research, collect and report additional data in order to demonstrate GOTS´ ecological and social impact?, notes Herbert Ladwig, GOTS Managing Director.
India remained the top country for eighth year in a row with 1,441 GOTS certified facilities. On the policy front, the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) notification in first week of May 2015 explicitly excluded organic textiles from the new procedures for export of organic products. GOTS has appreciated this industry friendly move and GOTS label is being used for export of textiles made from organic fibres from India. In India the interest in GOTS certified organic textile products is on the rise in both consumers as well as industry. India also witnessed an increase of brands and stores selling GOTS certified textiles in retail. Mumbai hosted highly successful 1st International GOTS Conference in May 2015, which was attended by 250 people from 12 countries.
Bangladesh has moved up from 10th place in 2010 to 4th place in 2015. The brands are having consistent interest in sourcing organic textiles in Bangladesh and the benefits of GOTS standard are reaching out to more workers in certified facilities in the country.
Marcus Bruegel, the GOTS Technical Director has left his position February 15, 2016. Marcus was with GOTS from the start and has contributed tremendously to its growth and stature. His role in the successful establishment of GOTS as a globally recognised label has been exemplary. Acknowledging his pioneering contribution, Marcus was given a fond farewell by the GOTS family with best wishes for his future at the Annual Meeting of GOTS on February 13. Rahul Bhajekar has been appointed his successor and will be responsible for the further development and quality assurance of GOTS, including environmental and social aspects. He has more than 21 years of experience in textile testing and chemical restrictions, as well as in implementation of GOTS with manufacturers, processors and chemical companies. Rahul has been familiar with GOTS since 2005 and served as a member of the GOTS Technical Committee for several years. One of his first major tasks would be to spearhead upcoming revision of the GOTS version 4.0.
GOTS is the stringent voluntary global standard for the entire post-harvest processing (including spinning, knitting, weaving, dyeing and manufacturing) of apparel and home textiles made with organic fibre (such as organic cotton and organic wool), and includes both environmental and social criteria. Key provisions include a ban on the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), highly hazardous chemicals (such as azo dyes and formaldehyde), and child labour, while requiring strong social compliance management systems and strict waste water treatment practices.
ATDC´s new initiative ´ATDC-SMART INSIDE´
Taking forward the spirit of Prime Minister Modi´s ´Skill India´ Campaign, ATDC (Apparel Training and Design Centre) has initiated a new concept ´ATDC-SMART-INSIDE´. This is an initiative based on the vision of skill development tutelage within apparel factories to provide training and technical services accessible to a larger number of manufacturing units.
ATDC has successfully started the implementation of this initiative by setting up training cell in some of the apparel units viz. Jyoti Apparels (Manesar, Haryana), Finefit Garment and R.K Industry from Tamil Nadu), and KG Garments from Punjab. The target is to train minimum 300 candidates per annum at each training cell. ATDC-SMART offers 11 courses under ISDS scheme approved by the Ministry of Textiles (GOI) for the duration of 300 hrs completed in 6-7 weeks.
Speaking on the occasion Dr Darlie Koshy, DG & CEO, ATDC, said, ´Since 2009-10, being selected as the nodal agency under Component-I of ISDS, MOT, GOI, ATDC has been directly running its own skill centres close to apparel clusters and manufacturing export units. To make ATDC´s training and technical services accessible to larger number of manufacturing units especially apparel exporter members of AEPC, ATDC has initiated a new concept of ´ATDC-SMART-Inside´ within apparel factories to train at least 300 candidates per annum. First such training cell has been set up in Jyoti Apparels factory at Manesar, Haryana followed by many others in different regions.
The basic infrastructure support from apparel units to set up such training cells to provide minimum of 2,000 to 2,500 sq. ft. build-up space within factory premises or close to the gate with separate toilets for men and women, requisite sewing machines and other allied equipment, Sufficient electric load and drinking water, broadband connectivity for bio-metric machine for recording candidate´s attendance and units to give placement to 70-75 per cent of the candidates of each batch.
HKL Magu, Chairman, Jyoti Apparels said, ´As soon as ATDC finalized the scheme, I have invited the team to set up a training cell at our Manesar Factory. Currently second batch is undergoing training.´
Workshop on fabric and garment testing
ATDC also organised a workshop on ´Fabric and Garment Testing´ at its Gurgaon campus. Amit Saluja, Senior Laboratory Manager, TUV Rheinland was the industry expert who conducted this workshop. More than 50 students attended the workshop. The main aim of this workshop was to upgrade the knowledge base of students in fabric and garment testing. This would propel a swift growth in their career by providing them a hand on training in fibre analysis, physical properties, chemical properties, fabric strength, colour fastness, and to enrich the skill levels of industry personnel.
The significance of this test is to check the compliance of the regulatory requirements and safety standards of the concerned country, check whether the approved fabric used in production is appropriate or not. This would help in avoiding return and recalls, and most importantly ensure brand protection.
Speaking on this occasion, Manju Singh, Principal, ATDC Centre, Gurgaon, said ´I believe that the fabric and garment testing demonstration provides an insight into the quality requirement for target consumer. Such workshops are means to convey the significance of fabric testing by putting up a practical illustration of the standard fibre and fabric that are essential in product development.´