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Article: Best Quality Cotton T-shirts: What Does GOTS Certified Mean in 2024?

GOTS cotton what does it mean

Best Quality Cotton T-shirts: What Does GOTS Certified Mean in 2024?

GOTS stands for Global Organic Textile Standard. It is a third-party certification program guaranteeing that fabric and clothing are environmentally friendly, organic, and fair trade for every step of the process. This means that from harvesting cotton to creating the cloth, every single step was done with great care for the earth, the workforce, and the product itself.

Nowadays the word “organic” is slapped on everything from food to clothing. A third-party certificate program like GOTS is designed to ensure that the fabric you buy is truly organic and ethically sourced. A third-party certification program means that businesses can’t make an unverified claim of organic products. This helps you, the consumer, make the right choices for yourself and the environment.


As more and more people become environmentally conscious, there has been a growing number of people looking to support and protect healthy natural environments, natural resources, and wildlife with the intent to leave as little of a carbon footprint on the planet as they can. Whether they are making an effort through switching plastic straws for metal ones or buying GOTS clothing, people are looking for ways to help the environment without making drastic changes in how they enjoy life or sacrificing their comfort. 

For example, making the switch to GOTS certified T-shirts doesn’t mean sacrificing fashion or comfort. In fact, many customers choose Classic T-shirts simply because they want a wardrobe upgrade, and the environmental aspects are a nice bonus to them.

The idea that high quality T-shirts or luxury fashion can only be made with exploitative practices is an illusion created by the fast fashion industry. The truth that many of our customers are realizing is that our high quality T-shirts are made as a result of adhering to high standards and ethical values. Taking the time to grow organic cotton yields a fabric that naturally breathes better and is softer than synthetic fibers.

Creating transparency and trust with our supply chain allows us to operate with the same trust and integrity with our customers. This is the shift we want to inspire throughout the entire fashion industry. 

Related: The Classic T-shirt Company and Fair Trade T-shirts


When you think about environmentally friendly products, you may think of the phrase “reduce, reuse, recycle” -- the so-called “3 Rs”. You may think you’re helping the planet by buying a T-shirt made from recycled material, but the truth is you’d be doing more good by buying a fairly made, environmentally friendly T-shirt that was made right the first time.

GRS (Global Recycled Standard) cloth is made from recycled material. The issue with this environmentally is that it takes a considerable amount of energy and material to recycle cloth--on top of that, recycled cloth is still fairly new. For cotton material, the process involves tearing the fabric and morphing the fibers into yarn. For synthetic material, like polyester, the clothing is cut into small squares and then morphed into pellets that can be melted down to create more fibers.

Although recycling textiles is a better option for worn clothes than sending them to a landfill, the processing of the textiles doesn’t come without environmental impact. The best option is to purchase durable and sustainable clothing that won’t need to be recycled in the near future, which gives the planet time to recover from whatever impacts are made from recycling.


A large body of water

The amount of water used is also a factor. GOTS certified materials use significantly less water than GRS materials. To produce one inorganic cotton T-shirt you need 2,700 liters of water. While yes, that is an exorbitant number, it’s not all sad news for water supply. Growing organic cotton without pesticides and chemicals helps maintain healthy soil which can help keep the soil moist longer. The soil association found that organic cotton can use 90% less water than its inorganic counterpart, meaning we are saving more than 2,400 liters of water with every organic T-shirt. 


Honeybees are one of the most well-known pollinators and essential to cotton production. But in recent years, bee populations have been experiencing a steady decline. One of the main problems has to do with chemical pesticides, which kill more than their intended targets. While pesticides do a fine job eliminating beetles and locusts that eat crops, the bees, hummingbirds, and other pollinators who come to help the crops also die from exposure to these chemicals. 

Growing GOTS certified organic cotton means that the soil used to grow the cotton is maintained without pesticides or chemicals harmful to the soil and pollinators. Eliminating pesticides is better for both the earth and its vital pollinators.


The fast fashion industry is largely wasteful, non-organic, and non-fair trade when it comes to products. Although very recently Chanel included GOTS products in their show, it was only about 28 of the total 108 products--leaps and bounds from previous years, but not enough. While this is still welcomed news, The Classic T-Shirt Company offers a variety of 100% GOTS certified clothing year-round. We want to encourage all fashion producers to keep increasing the amount of GOTS certified clothing offered until it becomes standard in our industry. 

The fast fashion industry encourages people to always buy more--new clothes every season that are not GOTS certified, meaning more waste in the environment from previous seasons’ clothes that are non-fair trade material, non-organic, and made with chemicals and dyes, some of which are known to be cancerous.

Imagine the number of workers being exposed to this material every day for years. Often the fashion industry is run by workers who receive lower than average pay, who work in horrid conditions, and with low-quality protection against these substances. This means that T-shirt you pick up that is not GOTS certified was probably made in a sweatshop for a tiny fraction of its cost to you. The Classic T-shirt Company’s GOTS clothing ensures that you are supporting fair trade companies instead of sweatshops.

While it is the fashion industry pushing consumerism, it is a personal choice to partake. While it may be tempting to buy new clothes for each season, you'll help save the planet and your wallet by buying only what you need and what will last, like GOTS clothing.


There’s really no better way to help support our planet while looking fashionable and feeling comfortable than with a Classic T-Shirt. With both women’s and men’s options available you can be sure to find something you’ll love that the environment will thank you for.


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