GOTS & OEKO-TEX: What's the Difference?
As consumers, it’s important to understand how the products we buy are made, but with so many factors to consider, this can quickly become overwhelming. So, to help us out, many certification bodies have been developed to do the hard work for us. Two well-known standards are GOTS and OEKO-TEX, but these are often confused, so let’s clear up what these two companies do and how they differ.
The Global Organic Textile Standard, otherwise known as GOTS, is possibly the most well-known certification body for organic textile products. To become GOTS certified, companies must meet criteria regarding organic, ecological and social practices at all processing stages and be certified by an approved third-party. In its most basic sense, GOTS certification guarantees that a product has been made by workers that received fair treatment and no hazardous chemicals have been used throughout the production process.
OEKO-TEX is a certifier that primarily focuses on guaranteeing that finished garments are free from up to 350 toxic chemicals to ensure they’re harmless to human health. Depending on the type of certification, OEKO-TEX can also require sustainable production, environmentally friendly chemicals and/or responsible business practices. These different levels of certification are all identified on product labels so consumers can easily check what standard a particular garment is made to.
Does OEKO-TEX mean organic?
OEKO-TEX ensures that a product has no harmful chemicals in its final form. This doesn’t mean that chemicals haven’t been used in its production at some point, so non-organic products can still receive OEKO-TEX certification.
OEKO-TEX vs GOTS
There are a variety of important differences between GOTS and OEKO-TEX certification. The first of which is the number of certification options. GOTS only has one standard, which considers a wide range of both environmental and social factors. This means consumers can be sure that any GOTS certified product adheres to all their standards. The one thing to consider here, though, is that GOTS certification can be achieved on the individual product level or on a business-wide scale. So, just because a product has GOTS certification, doesn’t mean the whole business does as well.
OEKO-TEX, on the other hand, has six different options, all with slightly different requirements. This means that while some OEKO-TEX certificates require ethical and sustainable production, others don’t. On top of this, it seems OEKO-TEX certified products can be made with chemicals, as long as they’re of safe concentrations in the final product. GOTS, however, guarantees that a product is organic and has been made without the use of hazardous chemicals at any point in the supply chain.
These factors indicate that GOTS is a more thorough, strict certification body that makes it much easier for consumers to identify if a product has been made to their values. In saying this, though, OEKO-TEX can still help consumers understand how a product was made and is a step in the right direction.
At Loop Home, we’re GOTS certified (CU1133274) as an entire business. Yearly audits ensure we maintain this accreditation and our Policies and Procedures keep us on track until the next audit. Learn more about our commitment to GOTS here.
Many brands claim they have ethical and sustainable production, but it’s important to have trustworthy certification bodies to back these claims up. However, no certification body can cover everything, so it’s still important to do your own research whenever possible.