The biggest difference is that the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification covers fiber and processing claims. This means that the fiber content is tracked, and that processing and chemical inputs are limited. In addition, GOTS includes criteria related to social and environmental responsibility. GOTS products must be at least 70% organic fiber; the remainder can be comprised of allowed fibers as listed in the standards.
By contrast, the Organic Content Standards (OCS) is simply a content claim standard. This means that the organic fiber percentage in a product is tracked and documented throughout the supply chain. OCS does not cover processing, so although the organic content is tracked, there are no requirements or limitations on the types of processing that can be done. Further, OCS allows for more blending options. A product must be at least 5% organic fiber to be certified and labelled to the OCS.
Both GOTS and OCS certification include recognizable logos and allow for on- or off-product labelling. However, only GOTS certification has been recognized by the USDA as acceptable verification for labelling products as “organic.”