Search Report
2022 Sustainability Report
published 2023/08/01

Organic cotton. Better for you. Better for the planet.

The cultivation of organic cotton protects the environment – and agricultural workers.

Fibers from sustainable agriculture for your T-shirt

In your VAUDE cotton products we use certified organic cotton that is manufactured under strict environmental conditions – without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides and requiring less water than conventional cultivation methods. Genetic engineering is also banned. After all, we want you to feel great with our products.

Organic cotton

Certified – from the field to our retailers

GOTS Global Organic Textile Standard

GOTS stands for the Global Organic Textile Standard and it certifies every single production step of the products, from growing and harvesting the cotton until they reach the retail market.

For years we have been processing certified organic cotton – one example: from our fabric manufacturers in Portugal.

The criteria anchored in the GOTS standard lead to two product categories:

GOTS Organic for pure organic cotton and GOTS Made with Organic with a material content of at least 70% organic cotton.

You can recognize all products with a GOTS compliant fiber blend by the GOTS seal in our webshop and directly on the product in stores. 

You can find the VAUDE GOTS certificate here.

In addition to organic cotton that is certified in accordance with the GOTS, there is also certification in accordance with the OCS, which we also recognize for our products. OCS stands for Organic Claim Standard.


No pesticides, no genetic engineering, no chemical fertilizers

Conventional cotton is a rather toxic affair – including for the cotton agricultural workers who make it and the residents of cotton plantations who are exposed to these chemical substances.

Organic Cotton

According to research by the Pesticide Action Network PAN, about 25 % of all insecticides and 11 % of all pesticides used worldwide are used in conventional cotton production, even though cotton accounts for only 2.4 % of the total global agricultural area.

Organic cotton, on the other hand, is cultivated following strict environmental guidelines. The use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers is prohibited. Also taboo: genetic engineering of the seed supply. Cultivating organic cotton uses significantly less water than conventional cotton cultivation and maintains natural soil fertility by means of crop rotation.

Organic cotton farmers are mostly organized into cooperatives.

They are able to set a higher price for their organic cotton which makes them more independent from raw material speculators on the world market.

Protecting biodiversity

By purchasing organic cotton, VAUDE contributes to the sustainable development of smaller farms and, as an additional benefit, to the retention of species diversity in the cultivated areas.

Farmers ensure the eco-friendly production of raw resources

Cotton is often grown on large fields. When it is mature, it is usually harvested mechanically; on small farms this is also sometimes done by hand. It is tedious, hard work.

The cotton is packed in rolls and delivered to the spinning mill. Once there, it must be prepared before being spun: the fibers must be cleaned of seeds and leaves. This process is called ginning.

The plant’s individual tufts are linked by the stem. They must be stretched in one direction before spinning at which time they are grouped into fiber ribbons that are then spun into yarns.

Organic cotton without forced labor

Again and again, media reports come out regarding cotton from Xinjiang. A significant amount of the cotton grown worldwide comes from this region, and Uyghurs have to perform forced labor in its cultivation.

We strongly condemn this violation of human rights. By using certified organic cotton, we can ensure that there is no cotton from this area in VAUDE products.

For both GOTS and OCS cotton, cultivation must first be certified by national organic standards. Then the manufacturing steps that follow are certified by the appropriate standard.

GOTS-approved certification bodies also consider the origin of the certified organic fibers during the first manufacturing step based on risk assessment. When there are serious doubts about gross violations, certification bodies are expected to reject the raw materials. For all manufacturing steps that follow, GOTS cotton does not allow the use of forced labor. During the annual independent audits required for certification, social and labor requirements are verified. Additional audits have been carried out by the standard setter in the certified factories in Xinjiang in order to double check compliance with the social requirements of GOTS and to be able to take action if necessary. To date, no irregularities have been reported.

Forced labor is also not tolerated in OCS cotton. As soon as a certification body encounters any evidence in the direction of forced labor, no OCS certificate may be issued.

You can read the official statement here.

GRI:   301-1
Materials used by weight or volume
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