Why You Should Only Use Sheets with GOTS Certification
Here at White Terry, we talk a lot about why it’s important to sleep on only 100% organic cotton sheets. In fact, that’s all we use here in the making of our luxury bed sheets, duvet covers, and shams.
Now, while going organic is a great first step, it’s important to note that not all organic fabrics are created equal. If you really want to maximize your impact on bettering your family’s health and the health of the greater world around you, you’ll want to be sure to opt for bedding that carries the Global Organic Textile Certification (GOTS) standard.
All of our bedding here at White Terry carries this certification, and we are proud to say that achieving this certification took a lot of hard work. It makes us happy because GOTS is the gold standard when it comes to sustainable textiles, and as a company who aims to better the environment just as much as we better our customers’ lives, we want to hold ourselves to a higher standard.
What is the GOTS Certification?
Recognizing that the impact of the cotton we use every single day in items such as bedsheets and clothing has a vast impact - both environmentally and socially - around the globe, the idea for a global certification process was first introduced at a cotton conference in Germany in 2002. It took some time, but eventually a committee of several worldwide cotton and textile organizations came together and released a global standard for the production of ethical, organic cotton in October of 2006. Since then, this group has worked tirelessly to update and adapt their standards to meet the needs of a rapidly changing environment and textile trade.
Today, the GOTS Certification is the highest standard by which a textile can be judged. GOTS Certified products are those that can prove without a doubt that their creation - starting from the farm that grows the cotton or raises the sheep, all the way to the packaging used in the store - is done without harming the environment, the labour pool, or the customers.
What Criteria Does the GOTS Certification Evaluate?
The GOTS certification process looks at much more than just the fibers that go into you fabric. Sure, GOTS products must be at least 70% certified organic in order to be considered, but that’s just the stating point. Here’s a breakdown of what else goes into GOTS Certified products:
Review of Company Books and Supply Chains
The first thing the GOTS Certification board examines is a company’s books. They want to see exactly how their products are being made, and where all the materials are being sourced. Unfortunately, there are many nefarious practices out there that involve mixing of organic and non-organic fibers, only using organic textile for a certain percentage of goods made, or unethically sourcing materials. By doing a deep dive into the supply chain, GOTS can certify that ALL of the products they’ll be inspecting are being sourced with care.
Inspection of Source Materials
GOTS Certifiers then look at where raw materials are being sourced. Is the cotton farm following the robust organic requirements? Do they farm in a sustainable manner, replenishing the nutrients each of their crops take from the earth? Organic is about much more than just not using pesticides, and GOTS ensures all the requirements are being followed.
Manufacturing and Chemicals
The next step is to look at the manufacturing process. Specifically, GOTS is very concerned about the chemicals used in making textiles. Many of the most commonly used chemicals have been show to cause cancer, birth defects, and other serious illnesses. Of course GOTS Certification allows for none of these standard chemicals, and manufacturers must opt instead for low impact chemicals.
GOTS Certification also has strict requirements on water and energy. Specifically, how much you’re using, and what’s being done to recycle wastewater. All of this gets evaluated thoroughly at the manufacturing facilities for any company looking to achieve GOTS Certification.
Labour and Social Practices
With much of textile manufacturing taking place in less developed nations, an unfortunate low standard of fair practices has perverted the industry. GOTS Certification aims to reverse this trend, requiring that its manufacturers eliminate all elements of discrimination and child labour, and that they employ a diverse, fairly-paid labour pool. They also require that these employees have a clean, safe environment in which to work.
Packaging and Shipping
Finally, GOTS Certifiers look to the packing and shipping methods of the manufacturer, ensuring that they are not using any PVC products or single-use plastics, and that finished materials are being shipping to their final destination in a manner than minimizes the impact on the earth.
Why GOTS Matters
As you can see, there is a great deal that goes into obtaining a GOTS Certification. The process for White Terry was long and arduous, but we are so thrilled to call ourselves GOTS Certified. Because this is a badge that we can wear with pride.
We live in an increasingly global world. The goods we use every single day come from materials, manufacturers, and people far and wide. While this has been great for many, allowing us to have access to more quality items than ever before, and allowing many struggling countries to develop wealth through new industries, it’s also caused significant problems. Quite simply, many of the ways in which we’ve been manufacturing goods are not sustainable, both socially and environmentally.
The GOTS Certification process - in our industry, at least - is a giant step towards reversing these bad trends. And we at White Terry have tremendous pride knowing that our products are a part of the solution.
And the best part of all this? With all the care we put into manufacturing a product worthy of a GOTS Certification, we ended up creating not only an ethical product, but an amazingly soft, comfortable product as well! Our luxury sheets, duvet covers, and shams are not only better for the planet because of GOTS, they’re better for our customers too.
And who couldn’t sleep soundly knowing that?
In short, our GOTS certification means that we can proudly say from start to finish, White Terry bedsheets, duvet covers, crib sheets, and shams are all made with healthy materials and in an ethical manner that’s good for the planet, our employees, and ultimately, our customers.
And the best part about all of this? Our hard work to create a GOTS certified product also led to us creating, as our countless customers can attest to, the softest, most comfortable sheets you’ll ever sleep on!
You spend so much of your live sleeping. Why not sleep soundly knowing you're resting on sheets that bring so much good to the world?