GRS & RCS: Certification Schemes for Recycled Materials

As climate concerns continue to grow, people are trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle.  In the textile industry, sustainable textiles are derived from eco-friendly resources like natural fibers, and recycled materials.

However, in the case of recycled materials, knowing their traceability contributes decisively to improving environmental sustainability and supporting the global objectives of the Circular Economy.

What is Global Recycled Standard (GRS)?

GRS is an international, voluntary, full product standard that sets requirements for third-party certification of recycled content, chain of custody, social and environmental practices, and chemical restrictions and is intended to meet the needs of companies looking to verify the recycled content of their products (both finished and intermediate) and to verify responsible social, environmental and chemical practices in their production.

The objectives of the GRS are to define requirements to ensure accurate content claims and good working conditions, and that harmful environmental and chemical impacts are minimized.

What about Recycled Claim Standard (RCS)?

RCS is an international, voluntary standard that sets requirements for third-party certification of Recycled input and chain of custody.  The goal of the RCS is to increase the use of recycled materials.

The RCS’s objectives are aligning Recycled definitions across multiple applications, tracking and tracing Recycled input materials, providing consumers (both brands and end consumers) with a tool to make informed decisions, and providing assurance that materials are actually Recycled and in a final product.

What is the difference between GRS and RCS?

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.

GRS vs RCS_2
GRS-RCS Workflow
GRS-RCS Needs

SGS, an accredited body for Textile Exchange in China under the Textile Exchange – Content Claim Standard (CCS), Recycled Claim Standard (RCS), and Global Recycled Standard (GRS) services, can offer a certification scheme as a reliable tool for manufacturers, retailers and buyers to ensure the accuracy of the recycled content in their products.

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