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what are organic textiles?

Woman holding a dry cotton flower in a vast cotton field

Organic textiles are made from natural organic plant or animal fibers, like cotton, linen, and wool and are certified to organic standards. These fibres are grown, processed, and manufactured into various textile products following strict rules concerning nature, people, animals, and business aspects.

Stack of jute sacks filled with cotton fibres

Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) regulations include limited usage of fertilizers and potentially toxic pesticides, greenhouse gas emissions, carbon footprint, biodiversity, soil, and water health. Workers’ rights and health are protected, and animal welfare standards are much higher at certified organic farms and facilities, with auditors inspecting premises on an annual basis. Overall, organic textiles are made in a way that is kinder and more considerate to nature and people.

Detail of the GOTS tag sewn on the edge of a blanket

Organic textile products include clothing (adult and children), home textiles (towels, bed linen, upholstery, curtains, etc.), and personal care (wipes, baby care, period products, etc.).


If you would like to know more, check the GOTS website.


"Misleading claims can lead shoppers to unwittingly act in an unsustainable way. They stop that person from making that decision to buy from a better brand, which might actually have a positive impact socially, environmentally and economically."

My Little Green Wardrobe logo

Lucy Todd

My Little Green Wardrobe

Woman holding a stash of shopping bags

Consumers have become more aware of the importance of healthy lifestyle, human and animal rights, and are striving to take conscious decisions in their day-to-day purchases. Unfortunately, this has led to some unscrupulous businesses sharing misleading marketing campaigns that target well-intended consumers who might lack awareness of what sustainable textiles really are, including those labelled as organic. This is called “greenwashing”.


Whereas for food, organic is legally underpinned through international regulation and UK law, there is no such protection for organic textiles, which leaves room for interpretation.

“The lack of regulation also means uncertified brands make misleading organic claims – such as labelling a t-shirt ‘made with organic cotton’, when in fact it may have very low levels of organic fibre in it.”

Christopher Stopes

GOTS representative UK

Global Organic Textile Standard logo

Labels may be technically accurate, but that doesn’t mean they are clear to a consumer trying to support organic. This is a problem because it undermines the integrity of the global organic movement and also the reason why a clear standard and certification process is necessary to combat greenwashing. Currently, there are some certifications available, however the strictest and internationally recognised one is GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard).

The GOTS standard covers the processing, manufacturing, packaging, labelling, trading and distribution of all textiles made from at least 70% certified organic fibres.

There are two GOTS label-grades:

  • 'organic' requiring a minimum of 95% organic fibres

  • 'made with organic materials' requiring at least 70% organic fibres.

Businesses certifying to GOTS give the assurance to the final consumer.

Without the GOTS logo, is difficult to really know what we are purchasing.


Discover more about the GOTS standard.

Illustration of a GOTS tag with its logo on top and label grade and certifier, below.
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