Eco- Textile Labelling Guide 201015 The Soil Association organic standard for textiles is another label which has adopted the GOTS criteria. It has a very high degree of consumer recognition in the UK market where 95% of its organic textile certificates are issued. The Soil Association is the UK's leading organic organisation and was founded in 1946. It is a registered charity and provides a certification and inspection service, which has a high degree of consumer recognition in the UK. According to the charity, The Soil Association symbol can be found on over 70% of Britain's organic produce, guaran-teeing that products have been made to the highest standards of organic integrity. Soil Association Certification Ltd ( SACL) enforces these standards through certification and regular inspections of producers, processors and suppliers. In terms of textiles and clothing, SACL has adopted the ever more popular Global Organic Textile Standard ( GOTS) criteria for textile certification and its standards conform to GOTS requirements including the latest revision of GOTS released in July 2008. SACL says it has issued approximately 60 of the 1000+ GOTS certifications currently in use globally. Around 95% of SACL textile certification is UK based but because it conforms to GOTS the SA organic stamp can also be issued on goods sold outside of Great Britain. Steps to certification The Soil Association says that its organic certification process is very straightforward with just three main stages to certification: 1. Application Firstly, manufacturers should submit an application with product specification and Soil Association Certification Ltd Organic certification At a glance: Scope of certification Soil Association Organic StandardYesNo Organic ? Genetic modification ? Water effluent ? Air emissions ? Energy consumption ? Worker safety ? Consumer safety ? Social criteria ? RSL/ Chemical residues ? Responsible water use ? For full technical specifications for Soil Association certification, see the Global Organic Textile Standard ( GOTS). Page 25.
16Eco- Textile Labelling Guide 2010 Obligatory organic standards The National Organic Program ( NOP) is the US federal regulatory framework governing organic food, although this standard also affects how textiles and clothing sold in the US market are labelled and marketed as organic. It was made law in October 2002 and is administered by the US Department of Agriculture ( USDA). Since the last Eco- Textile Labelling Guide was published in 2008, NOP regulations have remained the same so we have decided to condense and simplify NOP in this edition. At present there are no processing standards in the United States for textiles. However, if you advertise or sell your textiles with the claim that they contain " organic fibres," the organic fibres must be produced to the U. S. NOP standards. The fibres must be certified by a USDA-accredited certifying agent. NOP Organic Standards were originally developed for the food industry which has created some confusion in the textile sector. For example, in terms of cotton, the USDA considers cotton as a food product until it leaves the gin. This is because during the ginning operation, where the fibre and the seeds are separated, cottonseed is classed as a food stuff. Similarly, wool and flax fibres which are non- edible are also affected by the NOP regulations on organic agriculture and product labelling since they are agricultural products. Off- farm treatment of raw organic fibres are not covered under the NOP crop/ livestock production standards. However, although the NOP has no specific fibre or textile processing and manufac-turing standards, it may be possible for fibres grown and certified to NOP crop/ livestock standards to be processed and manufactured into textile and other products which meet NOP standards. National Organic Program NOP ' organic' ? 100 percent organic fibre content ? Only organic processing aids ? USDA Organic seal may be displayed on final product, in marketing materials, and in retail displays- in proximity to certified products only ? All operations producing, handling, processing and manufacturing the final product must be certified