Getting GOTS Certified: An Interview With Director Jon Marling

Getting GOTS Certified: An Interview With Director Jon Marling

We set up Cotton Bag Co to give businesses a sustainable and ethical option when it comes to sourcing bags for commercial purposes, since our inception we have expanded to various materials including jute, canvas and cotton, and have expanded our range of sustainable printed products to match. After achieving FSC certification on our paper bags with Paper Bag Co, we thought GOTS was the next step.

Jon Marling


To better align with our aim of meeting this purpose, we worked towards gaining the GOTS certification for our bags, and in 2020 we got it! Here we sit down with our Director and Founder Jon Marling for a chat about the GOTS Certified journey and why we went on it with Cotton Bag Co.


What is GOTS?

“As far as we are aware, there are only two bag printers certified to the GOTS standard in the UK, and we are one of them! We got the certification to push forward with our goals around sustainability and supporting the awareness of ethical products.” 


The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibres, including ecological and social criteria, all backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain. So, you can be sure your organic cotton bags have been carefully grown, manufactured and printed to the latest GOTS organic standard.


Why we went on the GOTS Journey

Whilst the certification was well worth it, Jon noted that it was not easy, and there are a lot of requirements to meet to become GOTS certified: 

“I’m not going to lie and say it was easy! All the stages from the supply of the raw material, production of the bags, printing inks and cleaning products need to carry the GOTS certification. Thankfully, our trusted partners around the world have the certification, so the next logical step was for us to push forward with it.”

Cotton Bag Co gained the GOTS certification in 2020 through our parent company Paper Bag Co, but this does not mark the end of the journey. 

“It is worth noting that we get audited twice a year, one we know of in advance, and one that is a drop-in. We are passionate about the methods needed to maintain GOTS standards, we strive to embody them in all aspects of our printing methods, so we are always prepared for a visit.”

We have noticed a change in the demands of customers, more ethical products are needed for the good of both the consumer and the producer. 

“Our clients are now asking for GOTS certified bags as standard, and as one of the few printers in the UK that offer them, we are well-positioned to meet this new demand. Our next step is to expand into GOTS Apparel, feel free to download our GOTS Certificate to take a look today.


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