Sustainability standards take steps towards ensuring long term sustainability of value chains. They also prepare the national market by increasing consumer awareness. Standards demand for product & environmental safety, livelihood improvement of workers, together with improving competitiveness of industries, production practices of the fast-growing smallholder segment, and mainstreaming smallholders into the sustainability fold.
The ‘International Convention on Sustainable Trade and Standards’ (ICSTS) was the first of its kind multi-stakeholder Convention. The event was convened by the Quality Council of India (QCI) in collaboration with the United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards (UNFSS). It was held at September 17-18, 2018 in New Delhi. GOTS was the supporting partner to the convention. The convention was dedicated solely to the practical questions of leveraging trade, standards, and global value chains as engines of sustainable development. It encompassed Sustainable trade concept which acquires a broader conception of environmental, economic and social sustainability. Sumit Gupta, GOTS Deputy Director Standards Development & Quality Assurance was invited as a panellist in the textile session titled ‘Strengthening Multi-Stakeholder Sectoral Initiatives and Responsible Sourcing Decisions in Textiles Value Chains”.
As the world’s leading standard for processing of organic fibres, GOTS is actively working with national and international brands towards bringing in more transparency and accountability in textile supply chains. The criteria include traceability, waste treatment, environment, working conditions and other aspects of social compliance. This includes prohibition of child labour, excessive overtime and fair remuneration and so on.
At the heart of GOTS criteria, there is this requirement to use minimum 70 per cent organic fibres in the main material.