What does GOTS certified mean, and why does organic cotton have specks in the fabric?
GOTS (Global organic textile standard) certified organic cotton is what you should be looking for when you purchase organic cotton.
The aim of the GOTS standard is to define world-wide recognized requirements that ensure the organic status of textiles from the harvesting of the raw materials, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing, up to labelling in order to provide a credible assurance to the end consumer.
Some basic important facts:
- Certified organic cotton prohibits inputs such as toxic heavy metals, formaldehyde. Aromatic solvents, genetically modified organisms (GMO) and their enzymes.
- The use of synthetic sizing agents is restricted; knitting and weaving oils must not contain heavy metals.
- Bleaches must be based on oxygen (no chlorine bleaching)
As organic cotton gets harvested, tiny pieces of leaves, bark, and burrs get into the cotton picker. That cotton goes into the gin where seed is removed from the lint and some of the non-lint matter is taken out, but not all of it.
For this reason, you will get the “natural” look of the organic cotton. Tiny specks remain. They are harmless--and one way that you can tell from the naked eye that the product is natural is that a bleaching process would turn the fabric white.
You don’t typically see the specks in regular cotton because cotton is normally bleached, whitened, or pretreated so that the flecks are not visible.
This information can be accessed on the GOTS standard website. https://global-standard.org/the-standard/general-description.html