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Introduction to GRS & RCS Certification Schemes for Recycled Materials

The demand for ever-new products, especially clothing & footwear, is high and seemingly on the rise. One attempt to make the fashion industry more sustainable is to use recycled materials to reduce useless waste. Many organizations make claims about the environmental benefits from products made with post- and pre-consumer waste content but have difficulty verifying and substantiating those claims. Several governmental bodies had since issued marketing guidelines or regulations that require marketers to substantiate their environmental claims and avoid any deceptive sustainability claims.

The Global Recycle Standard (GRS) and Recycled Claim Standard (RCS) are an international, voluntary, comprehensive product certification standard that verifies recycled content in products, and implements requirements along the chain of custody, including the traceability of recycled material and recycled product quality control. The GRS includes additional requirements for social responsibility, environmental management, and chemical restrictions. The RCS certification requires products with a range from 5% to 100% recycled content, whilst GRS certification requires products between 20% and 100% recycled content, a minimum 50% recycled content is eligible of using the GRS logo.

Both GRS / RCS certification emphasizes the principle of traceability and supply chain component sharing. Enterprises that have successfully passed the certification can apply for the transaction certificate from the certification authority to provide downstream customers with convenience for them to apply for certification.

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