A process that converts hemp and flax-based organic materials into fibres suitable for apparel fabrics has received a boost to its environmental credentials after being approved by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).

The certification covers the GOTS Textile Auxiliary Agents, and indicates that Crailar Organic Fibers use only GOTS approved chemical inputs.

The issuing organisation, OneCert, evaluates specific criteria regarding prohibited substances and restricted inputs, such as genetically modified organisms and formaldehyde, as well as the risk and toxicity for substances used in all stages of production.

"Crailar has always been eco sound; now we have certification confirming it," comments Ken Barker, CEO of Naturally Advanced Technologies, which developed the Crailar process.

The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is a collaborative effort between the Organic Trade Association, Soil Association, Internal Association Natural Textile Industry (IVN) and Japan Organic Cotton Association (JOCA).

It was developed to unify organic standards within the textile industry so manufacturers can market products to different countries under one certification that is recognised and acceptable in all major markets around the world.

Crailar fibres are made from bast fibres, such as hemp and flax, which pass through a proprietary enzyme wash that transforms their stiff, rough filaments into soft textile fibres that have the texture of organic cotton.