A new policy memorandum on the labelling of textile products containing organic ingredients has won praise from the Organic Trade Association (OTA).

The new policy, announced by the US Department of Agriculture National Organic Program on 20 May, supersedes the July 2008 NOP fact sheet.

It confirms that processed textiles, such as apparel and socks, labelled as organic must be third party-certified, with all fibres identified as organic certified in accordance with NOP regulations.

Furthermore, the memo confirms that textile products produced in accordance with the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) may be sold as “organic” in the US, although they cannot refer to NOP certification or carry the USDA organic seal.

“We are excited USDA is recognising the rapidly growing organic fibre sector in general and GOTS in particular, thus enabling organic textile manufacturers to make production and processing claims just as manufacturers of organic food and beverages can,” said Christine Bushway, OTA’s executive director.