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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

The Eco- label system allows the products of manufac-turers, retailers or service providers to carry the distinctive ' Flower' label for marketing purposes throughout the 27 Member States of the EU. The criteria for textiles were revised ( in July 2009) and are now valid until 2013. The Flower brand is widely recognised within industry circles as a rigorous environmental standard although consumer recognition of the ' Flower' - especially in textiles is limited. A new product group, textile floor coverings has been added to the Eco- Label rules and the standard will soon develop its own social criteria under the new regulation that will enter into force by the beginning of 2011. The latest version of the textiles criteria states the main aim of the label is to promote the reduction of water pollution related to the key processes throughout the textile manufacturing chain, including fibre production, spinning, weaving, knitting, bleaching, dyeing and finishing. The European- wide approach of the Eco- Label is intended for manufacturers to avoid having to make an application in every country as well as time- consuming and costly procedures. The same logo is used regardless of the product group, in a bid to eliminate consumer confusion. The label is awarded only to those products with the lowest environmental impact in a product range. 18 Eco- Textile Labelling Guide 2010 The voluntary scheme is aimed at promoting pan European sustainable production and consumption. Ecological criteria The criteria are divided into three main categories concerning textile fibres, processes and chemicals, and fitness for use. Fibre criteria Fibre- specific criteria are set in this section for acrylic, cotton and other natural cellulosic seed fibres, elastane, flax and other bast fibres, greasy wool and other keratin fibres, man- made cellulose fibres, polyamide, polyester and polypropylene. Other fibres for which no fibre specific criteria are set are also allowed, with the exception of mineral fibres, glass fibres, metal fibres, carbon fibres and other inorganic fibres. The criteria set in this section for a given fibre- type need not be met if that fibre Eco- label At a glance: Scope of standard Eco- labelCoveredNot covered Organic ? Genetic modification ? Water effluent ? Air emissions ? Energy consumption ? Worker safety ? Consumer safety ? Social criteria ? ( to be developed soon) RSL/ Chemical residues ? Responsible water use ? Eco- textile standards