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Fashion’s New Global Recycling Standard

Mixed emotions here about the new standard for recycled textiles. Thanks to Control Union Certifications and demand claims from brands and retailers in The Netherlands, the first Global Recycling Standard (GRS) for fabrics, apparel and accessories is now active to ensure sourcing clarity through the production supply chain.

Now I understand certification needs for organic fibers, dyes, and rather recently for leather and fur, – but recycled? Talk about cover your bum!

Well, according to Ecotextile News, Mark Prosé of Control Union Certifications says the launch is in response to an increasing desire from the textile industry to back up claims that can be made regarding recycled products. It’s a three-tiered system with a bronze, silver or gold level standard based on the amount of recycled content in any given product. The top-level Gold standard requires that products contain between 95 and 100% recycled material, while Silver labeled products are between 70 and 95% recycled. Products labeled with the Bronze GRS logo have a minimum recycled content of 30%.

This process is based on existing criteria from Scientific Certification Systems (SCS). The GRS standard also includes environmental processing criteria in addition to raw material specifications. Strict waste water treatment requirements and chemicals’ use are based on Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and Oeko-Tex 100 criterions as well.

Additionally, social responsibility is incorporated into GRS to ensure workers’ health and safety and enforces workers’ labor rights in accordance with International Labor Organisation (ILO) criteria. The GRS is intended for global use, but is launching in the Far East with combined efforts from Control Union in the Netherlands, Hong Kong and Korea.

Is this overboard? Perhaps a money generating ploy from branding companies? Why not focus on controversial bamboo first? Send me your comments!

Photographer credit to Robert Decelis for designer visionary, Gary Harvey, and his Recycled Icons, Eco-Couture collection.

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Written by Delia Montgomery

I am Delia, d/b/a Chic Eco on, and established myself as an eco fashion guru by learning "who makes what in the world of environmental fashion and design."

Enjoy reading some of my freelance writing about environmental design, fashion and art -- from both consumer and supplier perspectives. You may notice I focus most on individual eco designers, movers and shakers.

From sustainable fashion apparel to paint and flooring, discoveries are a rush. I get my kicks this way. I also offer sales representation of earth-friendly designed products for wholesale buyers. Retailers may take advantage of my services with factory-direct pricing. Spend less time sourcing and prevent green-washed purchases!

My other forte is connecting suppliers with business-to-business tools. Aspects of my business vary with consulting services while I'm proud to be the aide that embraces unique and innovative gigs.

I'm originally a Kentucky Blue Grass gal who relocated to Maui early 2006 and the tropical Puna District of Big Island, Hawaii late 2007. Walk the talk is my motto here.

Early 2009 I constructed a yurt home office in a semi-urban setting on a tiny lot. My water comes from the sky, contained in a catchment that's not likely to dry in this rain forest. The electric is designed for solar conversion. I grow about 30% of my food organically, compost, and recycle to the hilt. Permaculture with a full eco system is my gardening style.

In fact, gardening is my ultimate joy. I seek gigs like design, weeding and planting between other jobs. My love is Hawai'i which has more climate zones than any state. There are frequent earthquakes here, typically under a 3.0 magnitude, and I happen to dig the vibrations. It's a wonderful simple life in paradise. As I grow older and wiser, I become more and more grateful.

John Patrick :: And His Organic, Eco-Sartorial Fabulosity!

When Less is More: Max Green Alchemy