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partment of Commerce

Ministry of Commerce and Industry

New Delhi

Organic Textiles – The future of eco-clothing across the world.

Consumers around the world are interested in buying organic apparels, fabrics and
other related products sans pesticide residue. India being the largest producer of
organic cotton offers tremendous scope for organic textiles production and exports to
countries across the globe. The bulk of organic fibers and textiles produced in India are
being consumed by prestigious companies in Europe and the US.

While national standards and regulations exist for certification of organic food across
the world, organic textiles are presently certified adhering to a number of independent
private standards that have set out conditions for the use of organic fiber supporting
full product claims.

In view of the growing demand for organic textiles and to support organic claims of
textiles industry, Indian Standard for Organic Textiles (ISOT) has been developed under
the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) which will provide a major boost
to the textile industry as well to the producers. These certification standards have been
formulated by a Technical Committee (Textiles) of the NPOP and are being introduced
at the national level under the legal regime administered by the Ministry of Commerce &
Industry as part of the Foreign Trade Policy. ISOT will serve as a useful reference manual
for implementing the organic textiles programs of NPOP.

Indian Standards for Organic Textiles


Objective 6

Scope 6

Label/Labelling 6

Quality Parameters of Finished Products (Except Indigo Dyed Products) 7

Orientation Values for Residues in Organic Textiles 8

General Requirements for Accessories 8

Environmental Management 8

Social Standards 9

Storage, Packaging and Transport 9

Documentation and Internal Quality Assurance 10

Analysis and Residue Testing 10

Annex 1: Prohibited Substances During Textile Processing 12

Annex 2: Restricted and Allowed Substances During Textile Processing 13

Annex 3: Guidance on Use of Chemicals and Auxiliaries & Quality 14

Parameters of Finished Products

Annex 4: Orientation Values for Residues in Organic Textiles 15

Annex 5: Requirements for Additional Materials and Accessories 17

Indian Standards for Organic Textiles

Indian Standards for Organic Textiles
(ISOT covers textiles of organic cotton and silk)

1. Objective
• To ensure veracity of the ‘organic’ status of fibre in textiles and apparels, right from
cultivation and harvesting of organic cotton through processing and labelling

• To provide assurance of the organic nature of the fibre used and to convey that
the process of manufacturing has been done in a socially and environmentally
sound manner

2. Scope
This standard for organic textiles covers the cultivation and production of organic fibres,
and the manufacturing, processing, packaging, labelling and distribution of organic
textiles. The final product may include fibres, yarns, fabrics, made-up and garments
including home textile products.

Textile products that are produced and manufactured in compliance with this standard
shall be certified under the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP).

3. Label/Labelling
The final products should be labelled as organic or made with organic as per the
percentage content of organic fibre in the final product.

3.1 Label as Organic

If the textile part of the product contains 95 per cent certified organic fibre and is
subsequently treated as per this standard, it can be labelled as ‘organic’ and ‘organic in
conversion’. The non-organic content of 5 per cent could be composed of the following
regenerated and man-made fibre.

• Regenerated cellulose fibres — Viscose, Acetate and Lyocell

• Polyester made from post-consumer recycled material

• Polyurethane (Elastane)

• Polyamide

3.2 Label as Made with Organic

If the organic fibre content is less than 95 per cent and more than 70 per cent in the
final product, the textiles should be labelled as ‘made with organic fibre’. The rest

6 Indian Standards for Organic Textiles

5. Orientation Values for Residues in Organic Textiles
Final products labelled according to these standards shall comply with the chemical
quality parameters given in Annex 4.

The licensee of the final product must indicate information on any potential
non-compliance(s) in the product declaration.

6. General Requirements for Accessories

The materials used for accessories must be free from PVC and product materials
derived from endangered species. All accessories should be tested and must meet the
requirements of residue limit mentioned in Annex 4.

6.1 For Yarn and Fabric Materials

Natural/man-made fibres (Polyester, Viscose, Nylon, Polyurethane) are permitted but

preferably natural materials should be used as much as possible.

6.2 For Appliqué

Only natural materials are permitted.

6.3 For Metal Part

Metal, free from chrome and nickel is permitted.

The requirement for additional material and accessories is given in Annex 5.

7. Environmental Management
7.1 Management Practices

Theprocessing unitshallhavepolicies andprocedures in placefor environmentalmanagement

as per the norms of the respective State and Central Pollution Control Boards.

The environmental management practices should cover the following:

• Effective Environment Management System with a written Policy Statement

• Delegation of responsibilities

• Monitoring air and water pollution as well as solid waste management plan to

Indian Standards for Organic Textiles 8

• Optimum utilisation of water, energy and dyes/chemicals/auxiliaries in use along
with plans and strategy to minimise usage further

• Waste disposal programme

• Training

• Complete records of all the activities

7.2 Waste Water Treatment

Waste water, before discharge, shall be purified to the extent it meets the local standards
as laid down by the Pollution Control Board.

Waste water analyses and treatment details should be documented.

The effluent treatment plants for the waste water processing must have an approval as
per the norms laid by the State or Central Pollution Control Boards.

8. Social Standards
The processing units shall follow the social standards in accordance with the prevailing
law of the land.

9. Storage, Packaging and Transport

Organic product integrity shall be maintained during packaging, storage and
transportation by segregation from conventional products. The packaging materials
must be free from PVC and external treatment such as biocide or pesticides.

Indian Standards for Organic Textiles 9

10. Documentation and Internal Quality Assurance
The requirements for documentation and internal quality assurance shall apply as per
Section 4 of NPOP for inspection and certification at all the stages of handling. Each step
in the handling of the product, for all operations shall be documented during the audit
trail by the certification bodies. The audit trail should ensure organic integrity relating
to the nature of the raw material used, the quantity and reconciliation of these raw
materials with the final products. The operator of the final product shall be responsible
for ensuring the organic integrity in the entire processing chain.

11. Analysis and Residue Testing

Risk analysis can be carried out at any stage of processing during the inspection right
from ginning to final product. For ensuring integrity, samples for residue testing and GM
testing shall be taken.

11.1 Mandatory Verification

Verification is mandatory for ensuring compliance to the ISOT during the inspection by
the accredited certification body right from fibre to final product.

11.2 During Production

The inspection requirements of NPOP standard will apply to individual operations in

textile manufacturing. System plan should be submitted by the operator to the accredited
certification body in the approved format.

The operator and certification body shall maintain the documentation that contains the
following information:

• Description of the production unit in terms of name, facility, location, activity being
performed and output being produced

• List of all the practical measures taken at the unit to ensure compliance of
the unit

• A conformity certificate of the company’s compliance of its operations as per NPOP

textile standards

• Maintain purchase and sale records of organic blend inputs and outputs

• Records should be accurate, complete and easily auditable to enable the certification
body to trace the organic fibre at different stages of processing

10 Indian Standards for Organic Textiles

• The certification body must ensure that the operator has valid certificates of all the
suppliers of organic cotton during the physical audit

• A representative of the company seeking certification must sign the statement

with description, list of practical measures taken for compliance with
the ISOT

• If any deficiencies and non-compliances are observed and identified by the

certification body during the inspection, the same should be communicated to the
operator seeking certification

• The operator should countersign the non-compliance (NC) report and take necessary
corrective measures

• Certification should be granted after deficiencies or non-conformities are corrected

by the operator and physically verified by the accredited certification agency

Indian Standards for Organic Textiles 11

Annex 1

Prohibited Substances During Textile Processing

Sr. No. Substances
1. Solvents: Aromatic, Halogenated
2. Phenols and Chlorophenols
3. APEO-based detergents
4. Complexing agents such as EDTA, DTPA, and similar persistent
complexing agent
5. Formaldehyde, Glyoxal
6. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and their derivatives (Enzymes)
7. Inputs containing heavy metals such as Antimony, Arsenic, Cadmium,
Chromium, Cobalt, Lead, Mercury, Nickel, Selenium, Zinc, Copper and
Tin – beyond ETAD limit
8. Flurocarbons
9. Organotin compounds
10. Quaternary Ammonium compounds namely DTDMAC, DSDMAC and
11. Plastisols
12. Flame proofing chemicals

12 Indian Standards for Organic Textiles

Annex 2

Restricted and Allowed Substances During

Textile Processing

Sr. No. Processing Stage Restriction/Allowed Limits: Product and Process

1. Spinning Use of products is restricted to: Paraffin, Paraffin oils,
natural waxes and substances derived from natural
raw materials
2. Sizing, weaving • Synthetic binder not to exceed 20 per cent on
and knitting weight of starch/starch derivatives-based product
• Preservatives need to be eco-friendly
• Knitting and weaving oil must be heavy metal free
(ETAD limit)
3. Non-woven Processes are restricted to: mechanical compacting,
webbing and entangling
4. Ammonia Processing only in closed circuit
5. Bleaching Restricted to only oxygen-based (Peroxide, Ozone,
etc.) bleaches
6. Desizing/ Use is restricted to only GMO-free enzymes
7. Mercerisation Caustic wash liquor to be recycled/reused
8. Dyeing a. Dye stuffs to meet ETAD limits
b. Use is restricted to dye stuffs free of objectionable
amines (MAC group III 1, 2, 3)

Indian Standards for Organic Textiles 13

Annex 4

Orientation Values for Residues in Organic Textiles

Sr. No. Parameters Test Methods Criteria

1. Chlorophenols PCP, ISO 17070 < 0.01 mg/kg
2. o-Phenylphenol Extraction; Analysis on < 1.0 mg/kg
3. Amines (amine EN 14362-1 IS: 15570 < 30 mg/kg
releasing azo dyes)
4. AOX ISO 9562 < 0.5 mg/kg
5. Disperse Dyes DIN 53160 < 30 mg/kg
(classified as allergenic
or carcinogenic)
6. Formaldehyde ISO 14184-1, IS: 14563 I < 16 mg/kg
- Free ISO 14184-2, IS: 14563 II
- Released

7. Glyoxal and Other Extraction, MBTH, < 20 mg/kg

Short Chain Aldehydes UV-Vis
8. pH, aqueous extract ISO 3071, IS 1390 4.5 – 8.0
9. Pesticides Extraction, GC & GC/MS < 0.1 mg/kg

Indian Standards for Organic Textiles 15

Sr. No. Parameters Test Methods Criteria
10. Heavy Metals ISO 105 E04 Extraction)
Antimony (Sb) < 0.2 mg/kg
Determination by using:
Arsenic (As) ICP-MS (DIN 38406- < 0.2 mg/kg
Lead (Pb) H22)/ICP-OES (ISO < 1.0 mg/kg (outerwear)
11885)/AAS < 0.2 mg/kg (others)
Cadmium (Cd) < 0.1 mg/kg
Chromium (Cr) < 2.0 mg/kg (outerwear)
< 1.0 mg/kg (others)
Chromium VI (Cr –VI) < 0.5 mg/kg
Cobalt (Co) < 4.0 mg/kg (outerwear)
< 1.0 mg/kg (others)
Copper (Cu) < 50 mg/kg (outerwear)
< 25 mg/kg (others)
Nickel (Ni) < 4.0 mg/kg (outerwear)
< 1.0 mg/kg (others)
Mercury (Hg) < 0.02 mg/kg
Selenium (Se) < 0.2 mg/kg
11. Organotin Compounds Extraction, GC/MS < 0.1 mg/kg
- MBT < 0.05 mg/kg
- DBT < 0.05 mg/kg
Additional Tests for Accessories
12. Disperse Dyes DIN 54231 < 30 mg/kg
(classified as allergenic
or carcinogenic)
13. Formaldehyde - Free ISO 14184-1, IS: 14563 I < 75 mg/kg
(no skin contact)
14. Nickel Release EN 12472, EN 1811 <0.5 μg/cm2/week

16 Indian Standards for Organic Textiles

Annex 5

Requirements for Additional Materials and Accessories

Sr. No. Additional Materials Criteria

1. Permitted fibre • Conventional natural fibres (all non-GMO
materials for the vegetables and animal fibres)
remaining balance • Mineral fibres (except asbestos)
of the non-organic
• Regenerated fibres (cellulose-based such as
product material
Viscose, Modal, Lyocell or Acetate and Protein
based; the raw materials used must be non-GMO
according to clause
3.1 and 3.2 • Synthetic (polymer) fibres: (only Polyamide,
Polyester, Polypropylene and Polyurethane

The additional fibre materials may be mixed with

the organic fibre materials to the fabric or used in
certain details of the product.

All additional materials must meet the limit values

for residues as listed in Annex 2.
2. Permitted general • Natural materials including biotic material (such
material as natural fibre, wood, leather, horn, bone, stone
shell) and inorganic material (such as minerals
and metals)
• Regenerated and synthetic materials if their
use is not explicitly restricted in the below list
of accessories

Following is prohibited for use:

- Chrome (e.g. as component of a metal)
- Nickel (e.g. as component of a metal)
- Material from threatened animals, plant and timber

All materials used for accessories must not

contain any prohibited input as listed in
Annex 1 and must meet the limit values of
residues as listed in Annex 2.

Indian Standards for Organic Textiles 17

Sr. No. Additional Materials Criteria
3. Appliqué, borders, Allowed are natural materials and material
buckles, cords, compositions that are permitted for the applicable
hatbands, laces, labelling as defined in clause 3 ‘Label/Labelling’.
linings, supports
and frames
4. Buttons and As specified in ‘material in general’ apply.
press-studs, edgings,
elastic bands and
yarns, embroidery
yarns, fasteners and
closing systems,
inlays, interface,
labels, interlinings,
pockets, seam
bindings, sewing
threads, shoulder
pads, zips
5. Other, not explicitly Allowed are natural materials and material
listed accessories compositions that are permitted for the applicable
labelling under clause grade.

The accredited certification body may grant

exceptions for other materials if the required
properties cannot be achieved by using
natural materials.

18 Indian Standards for Organic Textiles

ETAD : Ecological and Toxicological Association of Dyes and Organic
Pigments Manufactures

GMO : Genetically Modified Organism

APEO : Alkylphenolethoxylate

EDTA : Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid

PVC : Polyvinyl Chloride

DTPA : Diethylenetriamine Penta-acetate Acid

DTDMAC : Dimethyldioctadecylammoniumchloride

DSDMAC : Distearyldimethylammonium-Chloride

DHTDMAC : Dihydrogenated Tallow Dimethyl Ammonium Chloride

Indian Standards for Organic Textiles 19

Indian Standards for Organic Textiles (ISOT)
(National Programme for Organic Production)

3rd Floor, NCUI Building, 3 - Siri Institutional Area,

August Kranti Marg, New Delhi - 110 016.
Tel: +91 11 26513204, 26513219, 26534186, 26514572,
Fax: +91 11 26534870
Email: headq@apeda.gov.in, Website: http://www.apeda.gov.in