The RCS provides companies with a tool to ensure that final products are labeled with accurate recycled content amounts. The Standard includes two elements to provide this assurance:
Input materials are checked by qualified certification bodies to make sure they are actually reclaimed from the waste stream. For this, the RCS relies on internationally accepted definitions of “reclaimed” and “recycled” from the International Standards Organization (ISO).
In addition, these independent parties also check each facility and each shipment from the recycling onto the final production stage to make sure that recycled goods are kept separate from virgin materials and labeled properly before moving on to the next step. Tracking materials by a third-party provides external accountability to common product claims, such as “made with recycled polyester”.
The RCS can be used in any industry, and for any reclaimed material. The Standard provides for more accurate product labeling, establishes more transparency in the supply chain, and provides better information to consumers.
The chain of custody requirements are built upon TE’s Content Claim Standard (CCS), which sets the requirements for maintaining the identity of any raw material through each production step to a final product. The Content Claim Standard can be used to verify any material content of any final product, such as the titanium content of ski poles or the non-mulesed wool in a sweater.
Textile Exchange partnered with OIA to have the RCS reviewed from a variety of stakeholders via the MTWG. The MTWG is co-led by TE and OIA and is a subset of OIA’s broader Sustainability Working Group.
The MTWG is also exploring a similar approach with other materials categories relevant to the outdoor industry and broader apparel and footwear industries, including wool and down. TE’s Organic Content Standard was developed in partnership with OIA’s MTWG and released earlier this year. Participation in the MTWG and these efforts are open to everyone in the industry.
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