Guide on Importing Certified Organic Cotton Clothes from China

Looking to produce certified organic cotton clothes from China? Though China is a big player when it comes to global cotton clothes manufacturing, it’s challenging to find a certified organic cotton producer as most conventional cotton widely used in fashion production usually use high percentages of chemicals, pesticides and fertilizers in the growth.

Then, what’s organic cotton?

Organic cotton is grown by natural ways that leave minimum impacts on environment. Compared with conventional cotton that uses a significant amount of chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides to increase yields, organic cotton usually costs more.

What’s certified organic cotton?

GOTS, abbreviated from Global Organic Textile Standard, is used to certify the suppliers. To get GOTS certification, the supplier must pass a factory inspection carried out by accredited third party inspection companies in China. The suppliers must meet following criteria.

* Fabrics must contain minimum 70% organic fiber

* Waste water must be reused or recycled if there’s any wet-processing involved, and it must comply with social criteria

* The use of chemicals, pesticides or fertilizers must meet environmental standards

One thing to be aware of is GOTS certification is only available to fabric manufacturers, not textile manufacturers, though the latter purchases fabrics from them, then make into clothes and export.

Clothing Manufacturers (Exporter)

This is where fabrics are cut, sewn, labeled, packed and exported, but they don’t produce fiber, yarns, neither do they weave fabrics or produce zippers and buttons. Every single raw materials for China clothes manufacturers is sourced from upstream suppliers. Usually clothing manufacturers are the direct contacts most importers get in touch with. If you’re trying to import GOTS certified garments from China, it can be a major issue as you don’t have direct contact with fabric manufacturer, and you don’t know for sure if they actually purchase fabrics from a GOTS certified fabric supplier.

Fabric Manufacturers (Upstream supplier)

This is where fabrics are produced, sold to local clothing manufacturers or export to overseas apparel manufacturers.

GOTS certification is only available to fabric manufacturers based on factory audits conducted by accredited third-party agents. Getting direct contact with fabric manufacturers is the best way to be sure than letting your apparel manufacturers do it for you.

A GOTS certified fabric manufacturer can provide certificate issued by the accredited company that conducts the factory audit. There’re two efficient ways to find GOTS certified clothing manufacturers.

  1. Apparel Manufacturers

Some apparel manufacturers get the GOTS certificates from random fabric manufacturers they purchase from. Since China garment manufacturers usually buy fabrics from multiple fabric suppliers, it’s imperative to make sure the GOTS certificate does belong to the factory producing the fabrics you choose.

  1. Issuing Companies

Here’re 3 accredited companies with offices in China.

* CERES GmbH

* Ecocert Greenlife

* Control Union Certifications b.v.

The issuing companies usually have lists of GOTS certified fabric manufacturers, whom they did factory audits and issued the certificates.

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