The GRS (Global Recycled Standard) 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.
The GRS certification helps to verify and trace the recycled materials in end products. The GRS certification defines specific requirements for content in materials, as well as good working conditions. In addition, they work to minimize harmful chemicals and the environmental impact of the production process.
By setting these requirements through the certification, it is possible for the consumer to make conscious choices. GRS seeks to meet the ISO (International Organization of Standardization) definition of recyclable material, which describes that the material must be processed to become a product or a new recycled raw material. You can read more about the description here.
The objectives of the GRS are:
Alignment of recycled definitions across multiple applications.
Track and trace recycled content in products
Provide consumers (both brands and end consumers) with a tool to make informed decisions.
- Reduce harmful impact of production to people and the environment.
- Provide assurance that products are processed more sustainably.
- Drive higher percentages of recycled content in products.
Clothes and accessories can be recycled - and the materials from which sustainable clothes and accessories are made can often be recycled. In this way, we optimise our resource consumption and protect the environment to a greater degree. If clothing or other products bear the GRS label, it means that there is at least 50% recycled textile material in an end product.
In addition to looking at recycled materials, GRS-certified workplaces must meet strict minimum criteria on working conditions. The criteria include prohibition of child labor, forced labor, discrimination and abuse. The GRS certification also works to protect the health and safety of workers by offering clean work facilities and minimizing contact with harmful chemicals. In addition, efforts are being made to maintain a good social policy, which includes demands for wages and working hours. You can read more about the social and environmental requirements, as well as requirements for the use of chemicals in this report: Global Recycled Standard 4.0.
Going for GRS certified products is one way to ensure more recycling of resources.
The GRS certification was originally developed by Control Union Certifications (CU) in 2008. Today, GRS has been passed on to the Textile Exchange, which develops several different standards and certifications. Textile Exchange is a global, non-profit organisation that works to promote the use of sustainable fibers and materials.