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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

Eco- Textile Labelling Guide 2010 17 Voluntary organic standards Since the latest version of the Ecotextile Labelling Guide was published back in 2008, the voluntary Global Organic Textile Standard has made great strides in its efforts to harmonise the processing, manufacturing and labelling of organic textiles. To date around 2600 facilities are GOTS certified around the world - this has grown from around 1000 in 2008. The aim of GOTS is to define requirements to ensure organic status of textiles, from harvesting of the raw materials, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing up to labelling in order to provide a credible assurance to the end consumer. It covers the production, processing, manufacturing, packaging, labelling, exportation, importation and distribution of all natural fibres. The final products may include, but are not limited to fibre products, yarns, fabrics and clothes. GOTS focuses on compulsory criteria only. Version 2.0 is due to be updated again in Autumn 2010. Parts of the current version that may change include the restrictions on copper in dyestuffs, quaternary ammonium compounds and plastic buttons. The residue testing chapter is due to be revised and will be based on ISO test methods. The allowance for certain environmentally sound finishing methods is also under scrutiny. In terms of quality assurance in the new version, ' ginning' will probably be defined as an initial processing step for the cotton supply chain. This means it would be no longer be certified according to farming standards but must be certified under GOTS. Transaction GOTS label grading " organic" or " organic in conversion" 95% or more of the fibres must be of certified organic ( or in conversion) origin. The remaining balance - up to 5% - may be made of non- organic fibres including defined regenerated and synthetic fibres. Blending (= mixing the same fibre in organic and conventional quality in one product) is not permitted. " made with x % organic materials" or " made with x % organic in conversion materials" 70% - 95% or more of the fibres must be of certified organic ( or in conversion) origin. The remaining balance up to 30% may be made of non- organic fibres. Regenerated and synthetic fibres are limited to 10% ( resp. 25% for socks, leggings and sportswear). Again blending is not permitted. Table legend: The following regenerated and synthetic fibre materials may be included in the remaining balance and mixed with the organic fibres or used in certain details: regenerated cellulose fibres ( viscose, acetate and Lyocell); polyester; polyurethane ( elastane); polyamide. Global Organic Textile Standard