Ramblers Way Farm Inc. of Kennebunk, Maine, has become the 50th company to be certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard in the U.S.
Ramblers Way, founded by Tom Chappell of Tom’s of Maine fame, is a manufacturer of apparel made from GOTS-certified organic wool. Ramblers Way provides 10 percent of profits and 5 percent of employee work time to local environmental conservation, human need, arts and education organizations.
Its outdoor-oriented sportswear and outerwear is all manufactured in the U.S., and made from U.S.-sourced Rambouillet wool, an American cousin to the Merino breed, and Pima cotton.
Among the U.S. companies that are GOTS-certified are Loomstate, Portico Brands, Maggie’s Organics and Williams-Sonoma.
The number of Canadian companies now certified to the program has more than doubled in the last few months to seven.
GOTS is the voluntary global standard for the entire post-harvest processing, including spinning, knitting, weaving, dyeing and manufacturing of apparel and home textiles made with organic fiber, including organic cotton and organic wool, and the standard includes both environmental and social criteria.
Key provisions include a ban on the use of genetically modified organisms, highly hazardous chemicals and child labor, while requiring strong social compliance management systems and strict waste water treatment practices.
In 2015, more than 3,800 facilities were certified to GOTS in 68 countries. The number of workers reported in 3,419 GOTS-certified facilities exceeded 1.05 million.
GOTS was founded in 2006 through collaboration by leading standard setters with the aim of defining requirements that are recognized worldwide and that ensure the organic status of textiles from harvesting of the raw materials.
GOTS is recognized worldwide as the leading processing standard for textile made with organic fibers, and GOTS certification enables consumers to purchase items that are certified organic from field to finished product. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has accepted GOTS for sale of textiles labeled as organic in the U.S.
Companies can only use the GOTS logo for reference to certification if the conditions of the GOTS Licensing and Labeling Guide are met.