November 30, 2023 7 min read

From food and clothing to household cleaning products, it’s more important than ever to choose sustainable, eco-friendly products that are better for you and the world as a whole. Fortunately, there is increasing awareness among consumers about choosing these types of products over more synthetic and environmentally damaging alternatives. When it comes to your bedding, looking for products with the GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certification is a benchmark when it comes to selecting the best and highest-quality organic textiles. Our guide will cover what GOTS certified bedding is, its features, what this organic certification means, and the many benefits associated with choosing organic bedding.

Understanding GOTS Certification

Any bedding that bears the GOTS Certification symbol must undergo a stringent process. The Global Organic Textile Standard is the world’s leading certifier for any type of materials constructed of organic fibers. Its purpose is to ensure that products consisting of organically grown or raised materials undergo a specific process that strictly adheres textile processing to certain social and ecological criteria. This is considered the gold standard not just for organic materials, but also for sustainable manufacturing. As a consumer, you’ll know that you are getting reliable information about the products you buy thanks to this stringent third-party certification and rigorous standards.

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To bear the GOTS label, all textiles must contain a very specific percentage of organic fibers. Garments and bedding must be made of at least 70% certified organic fibers, and if it is label-grade organic, it must contain 95% or more organic fibers. These fibers come from raw plant materials that are either spun into yarns or directly woven into the material. Anything that has GOTS certification, such as GOTS certified organic bedding, must also adhere to the international standards of organic farming. These standards are set by the IFOAM, which means that everything is grown without GMOs or genetically modified organisms, and without synthetic and harmful chemicals like pesticides and fertilizers.

The IFOAM is the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements. This umbrella organization represents close to 800 affiliates in over 100 countries. GOTS is a non-profit organization that uses a designated Standards Committee, a Certifiers Council, and several representatives from around the world.

Six important stages of the supply chain are evaluated before any product can bear the GOTS logo. These stages include:

  • First processing: This stage begins with the initial processing of raw plant fibers from crops that are grown organically. It typically involves a process called ginning which removes the seeds from the cotton bolls before they can be spun into fibers.
  • Spinning: After all fibers have the seeds removed, they are turned into yarns using a special open-end spinning technique. Some synthetic fibers may be blended with cotton, but if it is to be GOTS-certified organic cotton, it must contain a minimum of 70% organic content.
  • Weaving and knitting: Now, yarns are made into fabric via weaving or knitting. This process can be done via either hand-loomed or machine-woven fabrication methods. However, machinery oils must be free of heavy metals if the product is to adhere to the GOTS manufacturing process standards.
  • Wet-Processing: The wet-processing step may include several treatments like washing, dyeing, bleaching, printing, bonding, or chemical strengthening or removal using the appropriate wet processing units and procedures.
  • Manufacturing: This is the last step of the production process and may involve several steps including cutting or trimming, stitching, labeling, and packaging.
  • Trading: This final stage of the entire textile supply chain that GOTS evaluates has some pretty stringent requirements for the finished product. Companies that buy and sell materials cannot change the labeling of the product before it becomes available to wholesalers or consumers.

Key Features of GOTS Certified Bedding

One of the most important features of GOTS-certified bedding is that it’s ethically sourced and completely free of harmful substances including a wide variety of synthetic chemicals. From growing, harvesting, and producing the raw materials to creating and selling the final product, everything is fully organic and non-toxic, so it’s safe and good for human health and the environment. The absence of these chemicals and pesticides in the production process ensures that the bedding is safe for everyone from infants to adults. If you’re looking for healthier and more sustainable choices for your lifestyle and home, choose bedding made of pure, organic materials that are fully compliant with these global organic textile standards.

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Environmental Impact

Organic sheets and other products have a range of positive environmental impacts, including:

  • Waste-reducing procedures must be used by every machine operator, and they must adhere to specific environmental standards.
  • The wet-processing step requires that a specific amount of energy, water, and chemicals must be utilized. Every unit is tracked to check the level of consumption to ensure that there is less water consumption. This reduces waste and lessens the environmental impact.
  • Any used water is sent to a waste water treatment plant to support better sustainability.
  • The use of PVC packaging is strictly prohibited. All paper or cardboard labels and packaging must be certified by the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) or PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement Forest Certification) to confirm that each item was harvested in a responsible manner.
  • The absence of hazardous materials like pesticides and toxic heavy metals prevents a variety of environmental issues including air, water, and soil contamination.

In addition to their positive impacts on the environment, these organic textiles must also meet certain social criteria that have positive impacts that promote equity in the developing world. No employees are forced to work and they may freely choose their employment while retaining the right to collective bargaining and/or the opportunity to negotiate wages. All workers must be able to experience safe, hygienic working conditions at all times, and no child labour may be used under any circumstance. Each employee has the right to a living wage and may continue working free from discrimination of any kind. Supporting these social and eco-friendly practices increases demand, which in turn helps to ensure a better world for all of us.

Health Benefits

Whether it’s organic cotton sheets or GOTS certified linen bedding, using these products also comes with a variety of positive health benefits that improve overall well being.

  • From bed sheets to bath linens, using products that undergo GOTS certification ensures that you are reducing your exposure to a range of chemicals, endocrine disruptors, and allergens that could exacerbate symptoms. Certain substances may also cause skin irritations when they come in contact with your skin. Fortunately, true organic products don’t include these common irritants that can negatively affect those with sensitive skin.
  • Without harsh process chemicals like flame retardants, azo dyes, and aromatic solvents often found in non organic fibers, these natural materials promote a much healthier sleep environment.
  • GOTS certified products don’t produce VOCs or volatile organic compounds which have been known to cause health problems in some individuals.
  • Products like GOTS certified linen bedding and GOTS certified cotton bedding keep you cool and dry while wicking moisture away from the body to help prevent overheating. These textile products made entirely of organic fibers are naturally hypoallergenic, too.
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Comparison with Non-Certified Bedding

Now that you know more about GOTS products, let’s compare and contrast them with non-certified alternatives. Some products bear the GOLS label, which is similar to GOTS. Both GOTS and GOLS standards track organic products from the harvesting process through each step in supply chains. However, GOTS tracks products made from natural fibers like cotton, linen, silk, wool, and bamboo. GOLS certifications regulate products like organic latex and rubber used to make things like latex foam mattresses including how the rubber trees are grown and how the materials are produced.

If a product does not claim to be organic or if it has no organic certifications listed anywhere on the label, then dangerous toxins and processing chemicals are likely present. Not only do these items typically contain potentially harmful additives, but they may also be less soft and less comfortable on the skin, and less breathable. Synthetic fibers tend to absorb and hold onto moisture, which could leave you feeling too hot during the night. If you suffer from allergies, skin irritation, or have a respiratory condition, using sustainable bedding products without GOTS and GOLS certifications could make your symptoms worse.

When it comes to safe and healthy bedding, you can also look for the OEKO TEX Standard label. The OEKO TEX Standard 100 ensures that textiles are either free or very low in substances that could be harmful to human health. This includes every component of a product including the zippers, buttons, printings, threads, and the inner and outer linings. Nothing may be treated using unregulated harsh chemicals and the standard looks for over 100 listed chemicals before an item can be produced or sold to consumers. However, unlike OEKO TEX, GOTS certifications certify the entire life of a final product. Unlike GOTS which only applies to organic products, the OEKO TEX Standard may apply to both organic and non-organic products and textiles.

Final Thoughts on what is GOTS certified bedding

Now that you know more about what GOTS certified bedding is and what these GOTS standards mean, you can make a better-informed decision about your bedding. Remember to try to prioritize choosing eco-friendly and health-conscious choices that will improve your sleep and your overall well-being. At Or & Zon, we offer a wide range of high-quality GOTS certified bedding that will provide you with a luxurious, sustainable, and comfortable sleep experience, so be sure to explore our collection today.