Textile Exchange: recycled textiles

Textile Exchange: recycled textiles

Global Recycled Standard (GRS) and Recycled Claim Standard (RCS) are the two standards set up by Textile Exchange for recycled textile products. These products focus on the use of recycled raw materials and want to be innovative for environmental and social issues. Both standards require the release of an environmental statement checked by a third party that tests the content of the recycled materials of the intermediate and finished products.

Global Recycled Standard GRS Certification

The main requirement to get the GRS certification is related to the composition of the product: it must come from pre and post-consumption recycling materials for at least 20% (the reference is ISO 14021). Other criteria concern:

  • traceability of the supply chain throughout the production process
  • restriction of the use of chemicals
  • respect for a wide range of environmental criteria such as: use of water resources, management of waste and processing waste, energy, pollutants in the atmosphere, etc.
  • social criteria for workers' rights

Thanks to these characteristics, GRS products may achieve important goals:

  • decrease of the quantity of material sent to landfill
  • reduction of consumption of resources, including both materials traditionally used in fabrics such as cotton, but also oil and other substances used in the processing of fibers
  • reduction of pollution, as well as water and energy consumption
  • decrease of demand for colorants and fixing agents, by limiting all concerned disposal matters

Recycled Claim Standard (RCS) Certification

The main requirement to get the RCS certification is related to the composition of the product: for at least 5% from pre-consumption and post-consumer recycled materials. Other criteria concern:

  • traceability of the supply chain during the whole production process
  • commercialisation and marketing of RCS products

Operation of the recycled textile certification

Applying company must comply with the requirements and the obligations set out in the Production Standard and the Certification Regulation. The required documents are:

  • Application of the certification,  accompanied by its annex and the documents referred to it including the control plan
  • acceptance of the economic offer and certification contract

Upon receipt of the documentation, CCPB provides:

  • document evaluation
  • inspection of certification in the production sites
  • choice for certification and its issue
  • enrollment in the register of certified products
  • surveillance activities which allows CCPB to assess the maintenance of compliance with the Production Standard

Textile Exchange has also a standard on organic textiles.