GRS-RCS Revision

Recycled Claim Standard / Global Recycled Standard Revisions

Introduction

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.

Goals and Objectives

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.

Scope

The Recycled Claim Standard (RCS) and Global Recycled Standard (GRS) are international, voluntary standards that set requirements for third-party certification of recycled input and chain of custody. The Global Recycled Standard is intended for use with any product that contains at least 20% Recycled Material (50% if you want to label). The Recycled Claim Standard is intended for use with any product that contains at least 5% Recycled Material. Each stage of production is required to be certified, beginning at the recycling stage and ending at the last seller in the final business-to-business transaction. Material Collection and Material Concentration sites are subject to self-declaration, document collection, and on-site visits.

Needs Justification

The GRS and RCS are amongst the leading standards to track recycled material through the supply chain. They were written with the textile industry in mind but we see an increase in application across product categories, inside and outside the textile industry. With this revision we want to ensure that our recycled standards remain relevant in tracking recycled material through supply chains.

As part of this revision, we will be standardizing the structure and format of the GRS and RCS to bring consistency across all our standards.

We may also evaluate what value or need the standards could meet in addition to the verification of recycled content, such as more robust waste efficiency or other issues that may contribute to Textile Exchange’s Climate+ targets.

Timeline

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. In April 2021, Textile Exchange began another revision of the GRS and RCS and is anticipating releasing a revised GRS 5.0 and RCS 3.0 towards the end of 2022, following a thorough multi-stakeholder review process.
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Decision-Making Process

Textile Exchange will research the issues submitted during the Open Feedback Period and, in collaboration with the International Working Group, will be creating a Draft GRS 5.0 and Draft RCS 3.0 that will also be released for public comment at a later time. Textile Exchange’s Integrity Team, in close collaboration with the International Working Group, will have the authority to approve the final version of the Standards.

How to Participate

Textile Exchange’s Integrity 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.

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. This feedback will help to inform our revision of the GRS/RCS this year. We will share a summary of feedback received soon.

At this point, we request stakeholder participation in the upcoming revision. If you would like to participate please email Standards@TextileExchange.org to indicate your interest.

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