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Textile Exchange Launches Content Claim Standards

The Textile Exchange has published a new chain-of-custody tool to help companies accurately label the contents of their products and provide consumers more transparency into supply chains.

The Content Claim Standard, more than a year in the making, sets requirements to ensure the integrity of the “claimed” materials as they flow from source to finished product. It uses transaction certificates (TCs), which track the input and output at each step, allowing for a mass balance calculation to ensure the accuracy of percentage claims.

Because there are no restrictions on the material to be tracked, the standard has a wide range of application beyond textiles and can be easily combined with other social and environmental standards, according to Textile Exchange. The Materials Traceability Working Group – a subset of the Outdoor Industry Association that carried out a stakeholder review of the CCS – is also exploring the possibility of using a similar approach with other materials categories, including recycled inputs, wool and down.

The CCS is now open to certification bodies for accreditation. As soon as the accreditation process has been completed, companies may begin the process of third-party certification to the standard.

Textile Exchange is a membership-based nonprofit that began as Organic Exchange in 2002, and works to accelerate sustainable practices in the textile industry. The CCS is largely based on the work of the Organic Exchange standards, developed in 2004 as a means to track organic cotton through the supply chain.

Also this week, the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has published new reports that say UK consumers throw out about 1 million tons of textiles — mainly clothes, shoes and linens like bedding and curtains — every year. Reusing or recycling these items, which currently end up in the landfill, could generate millions of pounds.

According to WRAP director Marcus Gover, recovering just 10 percent of the £238 million-worth (USD $383.6 million) of textiles thrown out in 2012 could generate about £24 million (USD$ 38.7 million).

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