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Exchange Raises the Bar for Recycling

As a global sustainability leader in the textile industry,Textile Exchange is again proving its commitment to driving transformation with updated and improved recycling standards. On June 29th, the latest revisions of Recycled Claim Standard 2.0 (RCS) and Global Recycled Standard 4.0 (GRS) were released after a year long collaboration with recyclers, manufacturers of recycled products, and retailers. These standards provide a framework for verification of recycled materials and for tracing recycled materials through the supply chain to the final product.

While both standards encourage increasing the use of recycled materials, the GRS includes specific social, environmental, and chemical processing requirements aimed at eliminating harm caused during production. An important change in the GRS is the replacement of the previous Prohibited Substance List with ZDHC’s Manufacturing Restricted Substance List v1.1(MRSL). The MRSL sets out a list of priority chemicals specifying the maximum concentration limit of each substance for commercial formulas for use in apparel and footwear. The adoption of the MRSL approach to restricted substances strengthens industry-wide sustainability efforts by providing a standard and unity across change-making bodies.

A key change in both standards is the introduction of the Reclaimed Materials Supplier Agreement. This document is a decisive move towards transparency and traceability, as it guarantees that suppliers are selling reclaimed materials that would have otherwise gone into the waste stream.

Raising the standard in chain of custody tracking with RCS 2.0 and encouraging innovation in reclaimed materials with GRS 4.0, Textile Exchange reminds us that sustainability is an ongoing process of continuous improvement.

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