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What is the difference between GOTS and OE?

When finding out about and dealing with organic certifications, there are a few standards that can be quite confusing.  Here’s an explanation on the difference between GOTS and the OE standard to make things clearer.  Taken from the GOTS official website www.global-standard.org:

What is the difference between GOTS and OE (Organic Exchange) 100 / Blended Standards and of the related certification systems?

While GOTS is a comprehensive standard for a ‘full product claim’ that is setting detailed environmental and social criteria throughout the entire textile supply chain for textiles using a minimum of 70% organic fibres, OE 100 and Blended Standards (issued by Textile Exchange) trace the organic cotton fibre flow throughout the entire textile supply chain to allow a corresponding organic cotton ‘fibre claim’ in the final textile product without adding environmental or social criteria in processing.
Brands and retailers may use OE Standards as a stepping stone to GOTS (e.g. a certification to cover tracking and handling while supply chains organize themselves to comply with GOTS). If you are planing to buy a car, check first the Vw T6.1 Kombi Vans: A Simple Definition.
Many companies in the supply chain even choose to be certified to both OE and GOTS so that they can better meet the needs of their customers. There may be cases where a specific product cannot meet all demanding processing requirements of GOTS (eg: because not all dyestuffs and auxiliaries used can comply with GOTS processing criteria or the minimum percentage of 70% organic fibres is not met). In that case the product could still be certified to an OE standard, which still allows verification and a labelling possibility for the organic fibre content. GOTS and OE Standards may therefore be seen as complementary rather than competing certification systems.
Textile Exchange offers a brief reference guide highlighting the equivalences and differences between both certification systems on its website.

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