GOTS vs OEKO-TEX Certifications - Which one is better and what does it really mean?

GOTS vs OEKO-TEX Certifications - Which one is better and what does it really mean?

Debunking Certifications

The demand from consumers who want to know what they are buying and the need for environmental and social accountability is an excellent sign of progress of conscious consumerism. We celebrate innovation and the rise of new textiles, closed loop waste management processing systems and a rise in certification bodies, but whatever the fabric you choose to wear or sleep in, you deserve to know the truth of what is in it. The sad fact is that the majority of the textiles we put on our bodies contain a dangerous cocktail of carcinogenic chemicals, allergens, dyes and skin irritants.
During the journey of creating a fabric, numerous toxic chemicals are coated in seriously toxic and harmful substances and added at each stage of growing, processing, dyeing, finishing and handling - these are pesticides, fertilisers, silicone waxes, harsh petroleum scours, softeners, heavy metals, flame and soil retardants, fasteners, ammonia, dyes, colourants, finishers, caustic soda, sulpuric acid, bromines, urea resins, halogens and formaldehyde - to name just a few. Some certifications allow these chemicals to be used particularly in the initial stages of growing, processing and dyeing.
As consumers, it is of paramount importance for all of us to know the certifications and how strict they are and what they cover, as not all certifications mean it is ok for the planet or Her people.
Let's debunk, in simple terms, two of the main global textile certifications GOTS and OEKO-TEX.

Debunking GOTS and OEKO-TEX


OEKO-TEX certification promises that 'every component of this article i.e. every thread, button and other accessories, has been tested for harmful substances and that the article therefore is harmless in human ecologocail terms'. While this is better than no certification within the mainsteream textiles, OEKO-TEX only certifies that the end product has passed its test for consumer safety and that any residues found in them are within 'safe' limits.

OEKO-TEX does not mean organic, it still allows for the use of chemicals, pesticides and dyes and it only tests the finished product. This certification offers little transparency into the products growing, processing and manufacturing which is why it certifies products like bamboo, viscose and rayon where you have the consumotion of pesticides, chemicals and dyes used right from the start. So this certification may be good for human use at the end, but from seed to shelf the negative enviornmental and social justice issues remain.


The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is recognised as the leading processing standard for textiles made from organic fibres worldwide. It defines high level environmental criteria along the entire supply chain of organic textiles and requires compliance with social criteria as well. Independent third party certification is required for the whole supply chain. From seed to shelf, GOTS analyses and tests every input at every stage from seed to shelf, the environmental impact of every facility, and the health, safety and wellbeing of everyone throughout the entire supply chain. GOTS removes blind spots for consumers, providing full accountability, and traceability from start to finish to allow for legitimate organic certification. GOTS will only certify natural fibres and natural blends such as organic cotton, linen and hemp.

Being strict in certification with GOTS ensures that along the whole supply chain from SEED to SHELF there is:

  1. No GM seeds
  2. No harmful chemicals, insecticides and pesticides
  3. No toxic dyes, bleaches or finishes
  4. No child labour
  5. Fair wages and safe working conditions

At Bhumi we are firmly committed to only providing ethical alternatives for sustainable luxurious living. We will always only ever choose GOTS as it is the world's leading textile standard for organic fibers. Through years of research into sustainable proactices in the textile industry, we feel deeply responsible for the welfare of the Earth and Her people. By choosing GOTS, we not only consider the safety of the end product, but we ensure a positive impact in the entire journey from the beginning. All Bhumi products from the beginning of our journey are made from Fairtrade Cotton and adhere to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and dyed using water based GOTS apprioved dyes with plant derivatives, which are free from AZO dyes, toxic chlorine bleach, toxic heavy metals, toxic formaldehyde, toxic armoatic solvents with no toxic colour fasteners to artifically lock in the col,our with chemicals. All of our products are made with love for the Earth and Her People.

We strongly believe that knowledge brings power. Power brings choice. Choice brings change. Change for the better - for the Earth and for humanity.

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About the Author: Vinita is the Founder of Bhumi Organic Cotton and passionate about an Earth Life Balance

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