Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS)
Like the GOTS certification, issued by the same organization, GOLS is a global standard. Whereas the object of GOTS is textiles, that of GOLS is latex, including latex foam. Several mattress manufacturers use the GOLS seal on their products with latex cushioning. One, Essentia, even boasts of it, since their so-called “natural memory foam” is really latex which has been processed by adding certain plant oils to have a slower response (the characteristic feature of memory foam). Some other certified products include latex gloves, rubber sheeting and tires.
The goal of establishing the Global Organic Latex Standard was to have one certification for verifying claims by manufacturers and marketers that their latex products were “organic” or “natural” or from “sustainable” sources. According to Control Union, “[O]ne of the main objectives is to prevent the introduction of ‘falsely certified’ products into the market.” GOLS was launched in 2012.
Global Organic Latex Standard certification is managed by Control Union (CU), a worldwide organization for tracing materials from their sources to final manufacturing of end products. This in a group of CU certifications in the area of sustainability. Other certifications in this area concern the production of sugar cane, palm oil, fibers, and soy, plus recycling and the impact of tourism.
Sustainability is the primary concern of the Global Organic Latex Standard. For instance, how rubber plantations are set up and rum, and how the rubber is collected.
Other concerns of GOLS are environmental impact, social issues (workers and communities), and purity. Auditing covers every step along the way, such as centrifuging, transportation and processing. This involves certifying entire manufacturing facilities and auditing documentations in the chain of possession. Of special concern is verifying the actual content of latex products through laboratory testing.
As with GOTS, the GOLS seal of certification is found on many products claiming to use 100% natural latex from plantations meeting certification requirements. As may be expected from the stipulations for certification, this excludes synthetic and blended latex. According to some reviewers, the use of Talalay latex may be called into question, since it freezes the latex during processing, which adds to the use of energy.