There can be a huge difference between standards and certifications within the textile industry, some are intention based whilst others are inspected, some cover a few tiers of the supply chain and others cover the entire supply chain. GOTS certification is often referred to as the most strict standard in the entire textile industry.
In GOTS certification all suppliers in the supply chain, including packaging and trims, have to be certified individually in order to be a part of a GOTS supply chain. The supply chain starts at the farmer, continues to the mill, dyeing facility, factory, sewing and processing and finally to the brand holder.
All entities are inspected once a year and have regular unannounced inspections, the certifiers have to be appointed by GOTS.
In order to be sure that the sold quantity of products does not exceed the harvested amount, every supplier in the GOTS chain has to carefully document the flow of GOTS goods, this means both the input and output of materials and products.
Transaction Certificates (TCs) are proof that a shipment of goods is GOTS certified, this certificate gets passed down the supply chain ensuring that each step in the process can declare and prove that it is GOTS compliant. These Transaction Certificates can only be obtained by submitting, among others, proof of shipping paperwork, purchase documents and product quantities.