SCS Publishes Details of Responsible Source Fiber Certification

3/4/2014
SCS Global Services (SCS), a global provider of third-party environmental and sustainability certification, released its final standard for Responsible Source fiber certification in the textile industry.

The "Responsible Source Standard for Chip, Pellets and Manufactured Fibers" applies to synthetic polymers, such as nylon and polyester, used by the textile industry for apparel, upholstery, carpet, geotextiles, and other applications. The multi-attribute standard establishes aggressive material content requirements, specifying that materials are either at least 85 percent recycled or certified as environmentally preferable based on a life-cycle assessment (LCA). Additionally, the standard addresses a range of environmental and fair labor practice issues.

"Certification to this standard provides environmental and social accountability for the synthetic raw materials used by textile manufacturers, enabling fiber manufacturers to demonstrate their efforts on the path toward sustainability, and supporting transparency in the upstream supply chain," said Alicia Godlove, manager of material services at SCS.

"The Responsible Source program is a natural extension of SCS' work to certify the use of recycled textile fibers and certified environmentally preferable materials," she added.

The Responsible Source standard requires manufacturers to demonstrate their commitment to sourcing recycled or certified environmentally preferable polymers, as well as to developing extensive environmental plans for their operations that address hazardous waste disposal, air emissions, energy consumption, and water resources. The standard also considers worker rights and health and safety requirements. The standard incorporates elements from ILO conventions, U.S. federal regulations, and ISO standards and guidelines.

REPREVE fiber products, made from recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) and manufactured by Unifi Manufacturing, Inc., a leading producer of multi-filament polyester, nylon textured yarns, and related raw materials, were certified in 2013 during the pilot phase of the standard development process. The Unifi certification helped launch this industry-wide certification program and informed the development of the final Responsible Source standard, now available on the SCS Website.
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