Textile Exchange is committed to building credible, internationally recognized standards that include assurance and monitoring and evaluation systems. As a member of ISEAL, Textile Exchange follows three Codes of Good Practice in addition to its own procedures for Standard Setting, Accreditation and Certification.
In April 2021, Textile Exchange launched a comprehensive revision of the Global Recycled Standard (GRS) 4.0 and Recycled Claim Standard (RCS) 2.0. A public project summary of this revision can be downloaded here. In July 2021, Textile Exchange began a comprehensive revision of the Textile Exchange Standards framework with the intent to transition all its eight standards into one unified standard. The revision process of the GRS and RCS will be rolled into the development of the unified standard. You can find more information here.
The shared goal of the GRS and RCS is to increase the use of recycled materials. The GRS includes additional criteria for social and environmental processing requirements and chemical restrictions.
The goal for the Textile Exchange unified standard will be to drive the increased adoption of best practices in fiber and material production and sourcing that lead to positive impacts in line with our Climate+ goal, specifically reduce GHG emissions, improve soil health and biodiversity, and improve water quality and availability.
We will be moving from eight standards to one material focused standard, that will have different modules applicable to different materials. Chain of custody will remain from source to the final product, with the brand being the last organization requiring certification in the supply chain.
The focus of the standard will be on the fiber and material production level, in line with Textile Exchange’s strategy. We are also interested in exploring how to link facility-level certification or practices with our chain of custody. This scope decision will be made with feedback from stakeholders.
Standards are a crucial tool to drive adoption of preferred fibers and materials and as such, there is the opportunity to use our standards as a driver towards our Climate+ goals. The unified standard will allow Textile Exchange to track progress more efficiently and effectively, while also adding more value into our existing certification system. The new standard would include a comprehensive set of criteria for the materials most commonly used in that textile supply chain including cotton, synthetics, wool, down, and others.
There are some existing standards that address specific fibers or materials, but none that offer a comprehensive approach to material sourcing in line with Climate targets. In order to ensure the unified standard does not cause duplication of efforts, we are exploring an approach that would recognize initiatives in line with the outcomes identified in our standard.
GRS 4.0 and RCS 2.0 were released on July 1, 2017 after a multi-stakeholder review. You can find the summary of changes from that revision here. From April 1 to May 31, 2021, Textile Exchange sought open feedback on the current version of the Global Recycled Standard 4.0 and Recycled Claim Standard 2.0. You can find a summary of feedback received here. In July 2021, Textile Exchange began a comprehensive revision of the Textile Exchange Standards framework with the intent to transition all its eight standards into one unified standard. The revision process of the GRS and RCS will be rolled into the development of the unified standard. We are anticipating to release a new standards framework towards Q4 of 2023 (subject to change) following a thorough multi-stakeholder review process.
Textile Exchange will embark on this journey in collaboration with an International Working Group (IWG). Previous IWGs have been established per standard, and with this transition, we are planning to focus on one IWG, connected to smaller subject matter expert groups that will inform the IWG. You can learn more about decision-making in our Standard Setting Procedure here.
Textile Exchange’s Standards Team is leading this revision process in close collaboration with the International Working Group. The public will have multiple opportunities to provide feedback throughout the revision process through an initial feedback period, participation in the International Working Group, and the final draft consultation. Please visit the Unified Standard website for updates.