This is how it all began, over 30 years ago:
Manufac­tu­rers wanted to produce environ­men­tally friendly and healthy clothing.

In the 1980s, manufac­tu­rers of natural textiles were still associated as part of „Bundes­ver­band Natur­kost“ (natural foods) Two parallel develo­p­ments provoked the wish for a separate ‚textile-specific associa­tion: 1, „Bundes­ver­band Natur­kost“ focussed almost exclu­si­vely on foods­tuffs and 2, natural textiles were incre­asingly sold not in organic food stores but in specia­lized retail shops or mail order compa­nies. In response, four businesses involved exclu­si­vely with the produc­tion of natural textiles founded Arbeits­Kreis­Na­tur­textil (AKN) in 1989.

It was clear from its incep­tion that the most important task AKN had to tackle was to formu­late trans­pa­rent quality standards for textiles along the entire produc­tion chain. In so doing, this small associa­tion of later 12 produ­cers created a signi­fi­cant reputa­tion for itself.

In order to provide an umbrella organiza­tion for all protago­nists within the natural textile industry, Arbeits­kreis opened its member­ship. To this end, the Inter­na­tio­nale Verband der Natur­tex­til­wirt­schaft e. V. (IVN) was founded in 1999. Now member­ship reflects all segments of the natural textile and natural leather industry, begin­ning with fibre genera­tion and inclu­ding retailers. Even private indivi­duals can become supporting members of IVN.

Since 2000, the IVN awards the quality seal „NATUR­TEXTIL BEST“. As the first quality seal in the world, it assesses all stages of textile produc­tion and includes social accoun­ta­bi­lity standards.

Since 2001 the IVN awards a quality seal for ecolo­gi­cally produced leather goods. The first articles labeled „NATUR­LEDER IVN“ were sold on the market in 2009.

As of 2002, IVN is founding member and leading coordi­nator of the “Inter­na­tional Working Group on Global Organic Textile Standard“ (IWG) . This group achieved the standar­diza­tion of country specific requi­re­ments for the produc­tion of environ­men­tally friendly textiles. In addition to IVN, other members of IWG are Soil Associa­tion (England), Organic Trade Associa­tion (USA), and Japan Organic Cotton Associa­tion (Japan). The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) offers consumer assurance through a single and trans­pa­rent global standard, breaking down inter­na­tional trade barriers for the natural textile industry.

In 2007 the first business certi­fi­ca­tions for GOTS were awarded by IWG. In 2008 GOTS developed its own image seal and the first products so labeled became available on the market.

Today IVN has appro­xi­m­ately 100 members. Interested in membership?