Leading European garment decorator Lynka has achieved GOTS organic textile certification as part of its ongoing drive to be sustainable across the business.
The company sought the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), awarded by auditing body Control Union, because customers were increasingly looking for fully organic decorated apparel.
Based in Skawina in southern Poland, Lynka has been using garments with GOTS certification for over 10 years but wanted to achieve the certification across its own printing and embroidery services.
Founder and CEO John Lynch said: “When we saw the tremendous growth in the organic product segment in the past few years, we were convinced this was not a novelty or trend but rather a permanent shift in the marketplace.
“One can observe that more and more customers are ecologically oriented and they deliberately look for sustainable products. When it comes to clothing, they tend to choose organic over conventional cotton.
“However, the landscape of certifications can be cloudy. There are plenty of them when it comes to fashion. Since ‘organic’ is not a protected name, customers are looking for a ‘trusted sign’ that will reassure them.
“They want to be sure they are buying a true organic product which means cotton grown without the use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides and insecticides with decoration techniques that are ecological and shipped in environmentally friendly packaging such as FSC-certified boxes.
“Customers simply want to know that the whole supply chain – from seed to shelf-product – is sustainability viable. GOTS is one of the strictest textile certifications on the planet and their ‘green T-shirt logo’ is the quality seal.”
He added that it built on the GOTS certification achieved by Lynka’s suppliers such as Mantis World, Neutral and Stanley/Stella. “It’s been a logical move for us to join this sustainable chain to show that Lynka is an equal partner and follows the rules of the certification.
“Every facility is being held to the same restrictions and has to be compliant with the GOTS social standards when it comes to environment, use of chemicals, working conditions and labour rights.”
An important sustainability milestone for Lynka was gaining WRAP certification in 2013. Last year, it received its seventh consecutive Gold Wrap certificate and a Gold Medal for Sustainability rating performed by EcoVadis. Lynka is also a signatory member of the United Nations Global Compact on corporate sustainability.
“Our GOTS certification is simply the logical, very important next step on the path to Lynka becoming the most socially responsible and sustainable apparel decorator on the European continent,” John added.
When Lynka embarked on the journey to gain GOTS certification, it was already halfway there because of earlier certifications and an existing commitment to systematic assessment, said office and CSR manager Kasia Niedzwiedz.
“We had it all when it came to labour, ethical and environmental standards. We mostly had to focus on the internal processes and refine procurement ones including verifying certification of our textile, threads and ink suppliers.
“We read manuals, Lynka managers participated in online training as well as got external counselling and got acquainted with Control Union’s auditing and bi-lateral communication platform as well as learnt how to manage organic e-warehouse.
“There was a whole team of managers taking part in the process – warehouse, production operations, IT, purchasing, logistics, packing, customer service, sales and, last but not least, our administration team.
“Each certification gives us the opportunity to improve and to become better next year, and independent third-party audits are a guarantee for clients that not only do they receive excellent Lynka products and services but also work with a partner for whom ethical and sustainable practices are of utmost importance.”
Embroidery at Lynka