All Little Willow clothing is GOTS certified. GOTS stands for Global Organic Textile Standard and is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibres, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain (from farm, through factory, to you).
GOTS certification is difficult to acquire, and continued adherence to the criteria are regularly, and independently, checked. For example, operators from post-harvest handling up to garment making and traders have to undergo an onsite annual inspection cycle and must hold a valid GOTS scope certificate applicable for the production/trade of the textiles to be certified.
A sample of the criteria for certification are:
- A minimum of 95% certified organic fibres based on recognised international or national standards.
- All chemical inputs must meet requirements on toxicity and biodegradability/eliminability.
- The wastewater from all wet processing units must be treated in a functional wastewater treatment plant.
- Packaging material must not contain PVC. Paper or cardboard used in packaging material, hang tags, swing tags etc. must be recycled or certified according to FSC or PEFC.
- Raw materials, intermediates, final textile products as well as accessories must meet stringent limits regarding unwanted residues.
- Employment is freely chosen.
- Working conditions are safe and hygienic.
- Child labour must not be used.
- Living wages paid.
- Working hours are not excessive.
- No discrimination is practised.
- Regular employment is provided.
- Harsh or inhumane treatment is prohibited.
Full details regarding GOTS criteria, the verification process, and the other work they do can be found here.
But at Little Willow we go further still. We use resin buttons rather than plastic. And our fabric is digitally printed, not screen printed. Although digital printing is more expensive, it results in a higher quality print and is better for the environment. Since there is no need to wash screens in applying new colours, digital printing uses very low power and water consumption compared to screen printing, and much less ink is wasted.