Staff Reporter: ‘Connecting for Success’ was the theme of the second GOTS seminar in Dhaka on 8th September 2019. It was the second regional GOTS event in Bangladesh, after the one held in November 2016.
Around 330 participants from six countries congregated for fruitful discussions on sustainability and organic textiles. They included representatives from different stages of manufacturing industry like spinning, knitting, wet processing, garmenting as well as buying houses, international brands, certification bodies, testing laboratories, media and academics.
GOTS’ Regional Representatives organize events all over the world to connect stakeholders and receive feedback on the specific needs of market players.
Delegates highlighted the importance of traceability and transparency within the supply chain; communication of workers’ rights; an open and supportive attitude to collective bargaining; increased mutual consideration of certifications; capacity building among workers and the need for robust internal systems for Certification Bodies.
Furthermore, it was pointed out that GOTS helped to improve conditions in manufacturing units. For example, some factories installed an Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) to become GOTS certified.
“The large turnout today is proof that GOTS successfully serves as a platform for its stakeholders to work on sustainable solutions together” concluded Sumit Gupta, GOTS Representative in India & Bangladesh.
GOTS is the stringent voluntary global standard for the entire post-harvest processing (including spinning, knitting, weaving, dyeing and manufacturing) of apparel and home textiles made with certified organic fibre (such as organic cotton and organic wool), and includes both environmental and social criteria. Key provisions include a ban on the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), highly hazardous chemicals (such as azo dyes and formaldehyde), and child labour, while requiring strong social compliance management systems and strict waste water treatment practices. GOTS was developed by leading international standard setters – Organic Trade Association (U.S.), Japan Organic Cotton Association, International Association Natural Textile Industry (Germany), and Soil Association (UK) to define globally-recognised requirements that ensure the organic status of textiles, from field to finished product.