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Textile Exchange updates Global Recycle Standard
Mar '12
The GRS is intended to certify that products are made with certified recycled content. The GRS standard applies to the full supply chain and addresses traceability, environmental principles, social requirements, and labeling. Developed with the textile industry in mind, the GRS may also be applied to products from any industry.

The newest version of the GRS, v2.1, includes a minor, but important change; the allowance of pre-industrial waste will be removed, and the standard will only recognize pre-consumer and post-consumer waste.

Pre-consumer waste is material diverted from the waste stream during the manufacturing process. Excluded from this category is the reutilization of materials such as rework, regrind or scrap generated in a process and capable to being reclaimed within the same process. Post-consumer waste is material generated by households or by commercial, industrial and institutional facilities in their role as end-users of the product that can no longer be used for its intended purpose.

This category includes the returns of materials from the distribution chain. Pre-industrial waste was removed as a recycled input for the GRS, as it does not meet the requirements that the material would have otherwise been diverted to the waste stream. For example, pre-industrial waste would include the short fibers that fall out of cotton spinning and are often re-used in the same spinning process; we regard this as 'efficiency' and normal industry practice, not recycling.

All companies being newly certified to the GRS will be required to use the GRS v2.1, and companies with existing GRS v2 certification will maintain their current certification until the end of the validity date on their scope certificates.

GRS v2.1 is an interim measure as we continue work on the GRS v3. GRS v3 will be more stringent than the current standard, with additional requirements for chemical inputs, and further definitions on the inputs that can be claimed as recycled input.

Textile Exchange (formerly known as Organic Exchange) is a non-profit, membership based organization. It operates internationally and is committed to the responsible expansion of textile sustainability across the global textile value chain.

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