GOTS pilot project creates pathway for small operators to attain certification

GOTS pilot project creates pathway for small operators to attain certification

The project, launched in 2022, was strategically developed to overcome the obstacles that often deter small-scale operators from pursuing GOTS certification.

In a pioneering initiative aimed at enhancing accessibility to certification for small operator groups within the organic textile value chain, the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is pleased to introduce its on-going Controlled Supply Chain Scheme Pilot Project. The project, launched in 2022, was strategically developed to overcome the obstacles that often deter small-scale operators from pursuing GOTS certification.

Recognising that administrative complexities and financial burdens can impede these operators, the controlled supply chain scheme (CSCS) system was developed to mitigate these challenges. The supply chain requires an internal control and audit system, and small-scale operations benefit from a streamlined ‘group’ certification process, which reduces costs and eases administrative barriers.

Under the CSCS framework, a supply chain comprised of a minimum of eight and a maximum of thirty small-scale facilities, each with twenty or fewer workers, could be considered a single Certified Entity after a comprehensive risk assessment by their Certification Body (CB). SANKEI MERIYASU, a distinguished Japanese textile manufacturer, recently received GOTS certification through this project. SANKEI MERIYASU’s success showcases the tangible impact of the CSCS system in empowering small-scale operators.

Project Coordinator Yuko Nishino commends the company’s efforts, sharing: “SANKEI MERIYASU, a 97-year-old Japanese company, is a pivotal participant in the ground-breaking GOTS CSCS initiative, exemplifying pioneering dedication. We extend our appreciation to certifier Ecocert for their collaboration. This achievement resonates profoundly in Japan’s textile industry, where cherished traditions, techniques, and community connections are of importance.”

Ken Miki, Executive Director at SANKEI MERIYASU, shared his pride in SANKEI MERIYASU’s trailblazing accomplishment, stating, “As the very first group to receive GOTS CSCS certification in the world, we will continue our efforts to make products that we are proud of, and communicate to the world about the products made by this local small group in Japan.”

With the pilot due to be reviewed and evaluated next year, Rahul Bhajekar, Managing Director, GOTS, is optimistic about the future of CSCS systems within GOTS. “The controlled supply chain scheme has the potential for substantial impact, empowering small operators in the organic textile supply chain and revolutionising GOTS certification. Our pilot project is proving that the scheme works as intended, overcoming barriers and expanding opportunities. We look forward to refining and validating the CSCS requirements, in hopes of implementing it fully for all markets in the future.”

GOTS remains committed to generating opportunities that expand the organic textile market, benefitting growers and consumers alike. The successful outcomes of this project amplify GOTS’ dedication to innovation, sustainability, and the empowerment of all operators, from small to large scale. As the textile landscape evolves, GOTS is poised to lead the way, continuing to shape a future where responsible practises thrive and set the standard for global industry transformation.

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