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February 19, 2024

What is RCS Certification?

The Recycled Claim Standard (RCS) is an international standard that sets out the requirements for the certification of recycled materials in textiles. It ensures that recycled materials are responsibly sourced, traced, and processed throughout the supply chain.

Understanding Recycled Content Standard (RCS) Certification

Overview of RCS Certification

The Recycled Claim Standard (RCS) is an international standard that sets out the requirements for the certification of recycled materials in textiles. It ensures that recycled materials are responsibly sourced, traced, and processed throughout the supply chain.

Benefits of RCS Certification

  • Increased consumer confidence: Consumers are increasingly looking for sustainable and ethical products. RCS certification provides assurance that products are made with recycled materials, aligning with customer values and contributing to a greener future.
  • Improved brand reputation: Brands that are RCS certified can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability. This allows brands to proudly showcase their commitment to sustainability, attracting customers who value responsible practices and ethical choices. This translates to a positive brand image, fostering loyalty and attracting new consumers who share similar values.
  • Compliance with regulations: Many countries have regulations that require or encourage the use of recycled materials in textiles. RCS certification can help brands comply with these regulations. It demonstrates compliance with these evolving standards, ensuring seamless operation and avoiding potential risks of non-compliance.
  • Reduced environmental impact: The use of recycled materials helps to reduce the environmental impact of the textile industry. This includes reducing the use of virgin materials, water, and energy.

RCS Certification Requirements

To be RCS certified, companies must meet the following requirements:

  • Establish a chain of custody: A chain of custody is a system that tracks the movement of recycled materials from the source to the finished product. Every stage of the supply chain, from collecting discarded materials to incorporating them into the final product, is meticulously documented, verifying the genuine presence of recycled content and preventing greenwashing.
  • Implement quality control procedures: Quality control procedures ensure that recycled materials meet the required standards. RCS demands stringent quality control procedures to ensure the recycled content meets specific standards. This involves rigorous testing for properties like strength, durability, and chemical composition.
  • Pass independent audits: RCS relies on independent audits by accredited bodies to verify that companies are adhering to the standard in practice. These auditors meticulously scrutinize documentation, processes, and quality control measures, ensuring transparency and preventing any false claims about recycled content

RCS Certification Process

The RCS certification process typically involves the following steps:

  • Application: Companies submit an application to an RCS certification body.
  • Assessment: The certification body assesses the company's compliance with the RCS standards.
  • Audit: The certification body conducts an on-site audit of the company's facilities.
  • Certification: If the company meets all of the requirements, it is awarded RCS certification.

Additional Ways to Promote Sustainable Textile Production

In addition to supporting brands with RCS certification, there are other ways to promote sustainable textile production:

  • Choose organic and natural fibers: Organic and natural fibers are less likely to be treated with harmful chemicals.
  • Buy secondhand clothes: Buying secondhand clothes helps to extend the lifespan of existing garments and reduces the demand for new clothing.
  • Support sustainable fashion initiatives: There are many organizations that are working to promote sustainable fashion. You can support these organizations by donating your time or money.circle

RCS Certified Businesses

A growing number of brands are RCS certified, including:

  • Patagonia: Renowned outdoor brand committed to sustainability, using recycled materials in many products.
  • tentree: Plants trees for every item sold, partnering with organizations for global reforestation.
  • Everlane: Focuses on transparency and sustainability, sourcing ethically and offering production cost details.
  • Pact Apparel: Organic cotton basics for the whole family, committed to fair trade and sustainability.

Conclusion

RCS certification is playing an important role in promoting the use of recycled materials in textiles. As more brands and suppliers become RCS certified, the supply of recycled materials will increase and the environmental impact of the textile industry will decrease.