Author

Beatriz Domenech

AITEX CREATES A SUSTAINABILITY AND CIRCULAR ECONOMY TECHNICAL UNIT

The environmental impact of the textile sector has become one of today’s most worrying issues, as it is the second most polluting industry on the planet. The high consumption of water and chemical products, its carbon footprint, dumping and the emission of microplastics are some of the critical aspects of the production process. Coupled with the enormous quantities of waste and the low recycling rate (only 1% is transformed into new garments) means that the development of sustainable strategies and business models are urgently needed.

In response to the needs and challenges that this change represents for the textile sector, AITEX has created a Technical Unit for Sustainability and Circular Economy that will work transversally along three lines of action: R+D, Laboratories and Training.

In R&D, AITEX has 37 experimental plants to work on the challenges posed by the circular economy at all stages of the textile life cycle, through the development of its own research projects or in collaboration with partners. The line covers everything from eco-design and environmentally friendly production processes, to the prevention of waste and recycling in the final phase of the textile production cycle. The development of new bio-fibres and bio-polymers, chemical and mechanical recycling processes, the revaluation of pre- and post-consumption waste, the use of auxiliary products of natural origin and research into eco-finishing processes are some of the fields in which R&D projects are currently being carried out.
AITEX’s laboratory facilities provide companies with infrastructure and laboratory equipment for the characterisation of products, quality control and certification, in compliance with international sustainability regulations and standards. Voluntary eco-labels or certifications in sustainability and traceability are an important transparency tool that provides consumers with information on the environmental impact of products when making purchasing decisions. AITEX is an accredited entity for the Global Recycle Standard (GRS) and Recycled Claim Standard (RSC) certifications that verify the content of recycled material in products as well as compliance with good environmental practices in processes.
Likewise, the Institute creates social and environmental value by promoting environmental education, innovation, efficiency and the generation of employment and a stronger industrial base. AITEX’s Training Division provides technical training in new sustainable techniques and low environmental impact textile processes through courses in collaboration with other leading institutions such as the UPV.
With the introduction of the Technical Unit, AITEX makes its capabilities and resources available to textile manufacturers to improve their position as environmentally sustainable companies and to generate business opportunities through the change to new circular models.
After an initial analysis of the sector’s needs, one of the actions that will be carried out in the short term is the creation of an Environmental Sustainability Guide for the Textile Sector; in which concepts, applicable regulations, available certifications, success cases and good practices will be clarified.
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BIOSEA Workshop

On the 25th of November, the BIOSEA project held a workshop looking at the social and economic future for algae.

The workshop was held at the REDIT facilities in Paterna Technology Park, with more than 30 specialists from various sectors and included a space for the promotion and publication of research projects.

biosea

The BIOSEA project

The core goal of the BIOSEA project is the validation and scaling-up of a complete production process for ingredients obtained from 4 strains of algae, including the initial and subsequent stages of the process, fitting into the concept of cascade bio-refinery incorporating pre-treatment technologies (cell disruption), fractionation and conversion.

The innovation factor resides in the application of conventional processes on algae, or in combination with other techniques, for the recovery of multiple compounds from a single biomass, a process that requires continuous adjustments and technological optimisation.

The BIOSEA process will be effective and environmentally friendly, producing low-cost compounds for markets such as food, feed and cosmetics. It will ensure the repeatability and adaptability of the process on an industrial scale, to contribute to the reduction of European imports of raw materials, reducing pressure on land resources, and opening new niche markets and business opportunities.

The project is designed around seven sequential work packages covering the entire chain of production and application of algae-based ingredients; from the cultivation of algae biomass, through sustainable extraction, cascading, reducing waste, to the inclusion of ingredients in final products, to obtain innovative and scalable results.

 

This project has received funding from Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking in the framework of the EU’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program under contract No 745622.

 

Este proyecto ha recibido financiación de Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking en el marco del Programa de Investigación e Innovación Horizon 2020 de la Unión Europea bajo el contrato No 745622.

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AITEX WILL ATTEND SICUR 2020 IN THE INTERNATIONAL SAFETY FAIR

AITEX will attend the twenty-second International Safety Fair over the 25th and 28th of February in Madrid. Pay us a visit in Hall 3, Stand E05.

The International Safety Fair Spain, organised by IFEMA, will bring together manufacturers and suppliers of safety equipment in five major areas: security, including electronic security, physical safety and security services; defence, which includes advanced security solutions in defence; cybersecurity, responsible for the protection of business information, systems and data; fire and emergency security, acting actively and passively against fire; and safety in the workplace, covering the protection and welfare of employees.

SICUR

AITEX’s advanced protective equipment laboratory

AITEX has continued to innovate and improve the service we provide by focusing our attention on the evolution of our laboratories towards covering items of Personal Protective Equipment that were previously beyond our remit. The Institute has been working for many years as a Notified Body in the evaluation of conformity of PPEs as gloves, clothing and harnesses and combining this experience with customer demand, we have been working towards providing our laboratories with the necessary equipment to evaluate PPEs for eye and facial, respiratory and head protection, and the evaluation of dielectric gloves for high voltage work. This year, visitors to the AITEX stand will get the opportunity to take a virtual tour of the testing facilities at the Institute.

AITEX recently achieved approval by ENAC as a Certification Body for Personal Protection Equipment, in compliance with ISO/IEC 17065:2012.

AITEX will also present its recent accreditation by the National Accreditation Entity (ENAC) as an Individual Protection Equipment Certification Body according to ISO / IEC 17065: 2012 in the field of regulatory action (Regulation (EU) 2016 / 425 and under the conformity assessment schemes: Module B (EU Type Exam), Module C2 (Conformity to type based on production control plus supervised control of the product at random intervals) and Module D (Conformity with the type based on the quality assurance of the production process).

 

Last year’s fair was visited by 43,732 professionals, an increase of 3.4% over 2016, and 1,344 companies from 81 different countries. Business participation rose to 651 exhibitors, an increase of 13% with a wider range of new safety products in each of the sectors represented. The last fair was one of the most representative and innovative to date, given its level of participation and the range of news, content and activities offered.

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PLATECMA organiza la Jornada “Personalización de producto: La clave de la diferenciación”
LA PERSONALIZACIÓN DE PRODUCTO COMO UNA DE LAS CLAVES DE LA DIFERENCIACIÓN

El proceso de compra, en el que consumidor toma toda una serie de decisiones que conducen a la adquisición de un bien de cualquier tipo. Este proceso es complejo y está condicionado por toda una serie de factores ampliamente estudiados por los expertos en marketing. En este sentido, existe consenso al afirmar que la personalización del producto es una estrategia de marketing fundamental, a través de la cual la empresa es capaz de ofrecer al consumidor aquello que realmente, y de manera inequívoca, está buscando. Y esto es así porque a todo consumidor prefiere adquirir productos que sean únicos, que reflejen su personalidad, que trasmitan su ideales o preferencias. En determinadas circunstancias, incluso, la personalización de un producto se da porque este producto va a ser objeto de un regalo a un tercero o porque, simplemente, el consumidor se divierte haciendo valer esta posibilidad de personalización del artículo. En definitiva, la personalización va ligada a una mayor satisfacción de compra y una fidelización del cliente por una marca/empresa.

ORIGEN Y FUNDAMENTOS

Esto, obviamente, no son unas premisas totalmente rupturistas o innovadoras desde el punto de vista de la gestión empresarial. En concreto, el concepto específico de la mass customization cuenta con una trayectoria y experiencias de más de 30 años. Este término, acuñado por Stan Davis (Future Perfect, 1987), es definido como un sistema que permite acercar a la empresa los intereses de sus clientes y atender de manera más rápida y completa sus necesidades o exigencias. En otras palabras, supone fabricar y prestar servicios para hacer frente a las demandas del mercado, adaptando los productos y servicios a las necesidades del consumidor.

Starbucks comenzó con esta práctica. Coca Cola (después han venido otras marcas) lanzó una campaña para personalizar las latas con los nombres más comunes de los españoles con la que quiso rendir homenaje a los consumidores a través de sus envases.

¿Cómo implementar la personalización de producto en mi organización?

Como en otros órdenes de la estrategia empresarial, cada organización, cada unidad de negocio, o cada línea de producto, precisa de acometer un análisis detallado y específico de su cadena de valor, sus capacidades, limitaciones, etc. En términos generales, se pueda afirmar que, al menos, se requieren estrategias concretas focalizadas en el cliente, con un fuerte componente de I+D+i, teniendo en cuenta las capacidades productivas, el sistema logístico, la sostenibilidad y la viabilidad técnico-económica del proyecto en sí mismo.

La personalización en la Industria 4.0 y sus ventajas competitivas inherentes

Por lo expuesto, la personalización abrió hace 30 años una nueva ventana de oportunidades a la industria, y gracias al conjunto de tecnologías que dan forma a la conocida como Industria 4.0, actualmente se da un entorno favorable y muy accesible para que las pymes para puedan acceder a todas las ventajas que sus planteamientos otorgan. En esencia, asistimos a un momento inmejorable para configurar soluciones a medida muy diversas, sin un aumento significativo de los costos, siendo este componente de la personalización, en la mayoría de los casos, impulsor de ventajas competitivas estratégicas con un importante retorno económico.

 

PLATECMA, la Plataforma Tecnológica de Sectores Manufactureros, organiza la Jornada “PERSONALIZACIÓN DE PRODUCTO: LA CLAVE DE LA DIFERENCIACIÓN” el próximo día 7 de noviembre, en la que se abordará esta temática. En el siguiente enlace encontrarán más información acerca del evento y cómo inscribirse.

El objetivo es analizar la personalización de producto desde el punto de vista de los sectores manufactureros como el cerámico, el juguetero, el textil, el de metal, la madera, etc.

Dicha Jornada se celebrará en las instalaciones de la empresa SUAVINEX S.A. (Polígono Industrial las Atalayas Calle del Marco, parcela R88, 03114 Alicante), que formará parte de la mesa redonda y al cierre de la jornada se realizará una visita guiada a las instalaciones de la empresa.

 

ARTÍCULO PULICADO EN EL ÚLTIMA EDICIÓN DE LA REVISTA DE AITEX: más información

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TPTEX: DEVELOPMENT OF A THERAPEUTIC TEXTILE TO PREVENT PATHOLOGIES ASSOCIATED WITH THE LOWER LIMBS

R+D Projects

20th of February 2020

Health is a very important aspect of people’s lives and the TPTex project aims to improve health through the relationship between textiles and physical activity in diseases that require compression stockings in the lower limbs.
Its basic goals within the first year of study were:

– To study the needs of people with lipids in terms of therapeutic compression leggings, as well as the needs of athletes when recovering from long-distance races.

– To create compressive textile substrates to improve of lower limb pathologies, related to the accumulation of fat (lipedema) or lymph (lymphedema).

– To create compressive textile substrates to improve muscular and metabolic function after long distance races that take the human body to the metabolic and muscular limit.

Thus, two different lines have been researched, both related to compressive weaving.

Regarding the first line of action, lipedema is a chronic and degenerative disease, characterised by the accumulation of adipose tissue in the legs, affecting 16% of women. It leads to pain and sensitivity, as well as a tendency to bruise easily due to capillary fragility.
Most doctors are unaware of this disease as it was not recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) until 8 May 2018.

The treatment of lipedema is fundamentally conservative, based on hygienic-dietary measures (healthy lifestyle, weight loss and physical exercise) and the use of compressive therapy. Hence the importance of this project.

The project developed a collection of compression garments to aid an athlete’s recovery after strenuous exercise. Faster post-competition recovery enables training to resume earlier, increasing long-term performance. Most studies carried out so far have analysed the influence of compression garments during recovery in laboratory conditions or simulated competitions, but not during real races. It should be noted that in a previous AITEX project (PREVENTEX 2018), recovery was analysed, but only in a sample of 5 participants, identifying lines to be further developed and researched, but providing no conclusive data, hence this project.

In the first phase of the project, compression fabrics were developed using flat and circular weaving to evaluate breathability, drying time, elasticity and composition, so that compression garment prototypes could be developed in the second phase of development and evaluated by a panel of expert users.

tptex 1

After laboratory analysis and the opinion of expert users of compression garments, the fabrics which would be used to develop the initial prototypes were defined:

– Prototype flat fabric (0702): composition 72% polyamide, 2% elastane, 26% elastic thread (elastic core covered with polyamide)

– Circular knitting prototypes:
– CAMICN: a normal microfibre channel, 17% Lycra and 83% polyamide
– TRCMICN: a normal microfibre weave, 22% Lycra and 78% polyamide.
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Once selected, compression garments were developed using flat-weave and circular-weave technology in different sizes. It is worth mentioning that this is a first approximation and that in the following year of the project, improvements will be introduced by technical finishes, and standard sizes will be designed.

Several expert user panels have been set up to validate the prototypes:
A panel of expert users of compression leggings evaluated the flat-weave compression garment, which was the most suitable and most in line with the specifications of a doctor specialising in the pathology.
The panel consisted of a pre measurement, followed by a 6-week Nordic Walking training program, followed up by a post measurement to evaluate differences between pre and post results among a sample group with lipedema and a control group without the pathology. Both measurements consisted of thermography of the lower limbs, analysis of the movement of the ankle, knee and hip joint range, measurement of balance and pressure distribution, volumetry, walking speed and a quality of life scale. The most interesting results revealed that patients with lipedema show a general decrease in the surface temperature of the lower limbs after a light walk. This thermal behaviour differs from the thermal behaviour of healthy participants. After the training programme, it was found that all participants walk at a higher speed, with higher angle values in the lower limb joints.

tptex 2

On the other hand, validation was carried out in compressive garments for an athlete’s recovery. In this case, after a 107 km trail, 5600 meters of positive and 4400 meters of negative accumulated height gain, two groups of runners were used, one group wearing the recovery compression leggings for 24 hours after the race, and another control group that did not use recovery leggings.

Biomarkers of blood analysis and comfort, fatigue and pain analysis were analysed. The results of fatigue and pain were highlighted, where the group that used the compression leggings presented a general pain of one point below the group that did not use the compression leggings. Additionally, all users reported good comfort and that they would use the recovery leggings in the future.

Conclusions

– Lipedema requires compression leggings and physical exercise for successful treatment.
– Three types of compression stockings were obtained for validation (Flat 0702, circular CAMICN, and circular TRMICN).
The user panel concluded in the opinion surveys that the circular fabrics are very soft and comfortable, but that they do not give the impression of reaching the required levels of compression. As for the flat-woven legging, it was felt to be a little rough, with a very coarse seam. Further research is needed on both garments.
– Compression leggings for recovery after strenuous exercise reduce pain after 24 hours of use compared to the group that did not use compression leggings during those 24 hours.

FEDER+Ivace+Declaracion-CS
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RESEARCH AND STUDY OF THE USE OF SUSTAINABLE FINISHING PROCESSES

R+D Projects

20th of February 2020

Global clothing sector output stands at 100 billion garments annually, causing huge environmental problems throughout the manufacturing chain. The supply of raw materials, the production and use of chemical products and water, atmospheric emissions and waste generated in the production and post-production phases are compromising the natural balance of ecosystems.

Society and in particular the textile sector, are becoming increasingly committed to sustainable manufacturing to develop fabrics and chemical-free products using natural products and using renewable materials. These efforts will prevent as far as possible, the use and contamination of water and air, protect the soil, reduce waste and save energy to help decrease global warming.

AITEX’s Technical Finishes, Environment and Health Research Group, together with manufacturers has been investigating different eco technologies and the use of natural products, analysing the advantages and limitations they represent.

The main objective of this project is to research different eco technologies in pre and post-dye treatment using natural dyes to develop new products for the clothing and habitat sector, while analysing, demonstrating and measuring the advantages that these technologies offer over traditional technologies. To achieve the main objective of the project, it was decided to divide it into different secondary objectives according to the technology used, establishing a series of expected results, which were fulfilled throughout the project and described below

• A study of the possible effects of dyeing using natural dyes with the micronising technique that minimises the consumption of water and chemicals and eliminates spillage.

The combination of dyes and auxiliaries of natural origin and with sustainable process technologies turns out to be a valid ecological alternative when compared to traditional production processes. Homogeneous and reproducible dyes using micro misting technology and the use of dyes of natural origin. Creating a range of colours by varying mordents, blends of unit dyes and trichrome staining.

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Fixing natural plant dyes on fabrics and garments by batch dyeing, obtaining a representative and wide ranging palette to meet fashion trends, developing formulations and prototypes using different mordents; Alumbre Potassium, Aluminum Sulfate and Iron Sulfate; and different natural dyes such as Reseda, Chlorophyll, Acacia, Madder, Lac Dye or Logwood at different concentrations.

This was performed on fabrics of different compositions, (principally cotton and natural hide), to achieve reproducibility of dyes with the right physical properties.

• The use of different functional products (softeners, fluid repellent, antimicrobial, easy-care resins, etc.) in pre and post dyeing processes with natural dyes, to minimise water and chemical consumption, and zero spills using micronisation.

• The use of ozone technology as a pre and post treatment process for different natural fabrics dyed with natural dyes, achieving more intense colours through pre-treatment with ozone and dyeing with natural dyes, as well as washed out effects in the post-treatment process of different textile substrates dyed with the dyes. This considerably reduces water and energy consumption while eliminating the need for toxic processes and the use of permanganate.

The development of multilayer articles by calendering to laminate thermo-adhesive and special effect films. Ensuring that the application of high temperatures (around 170°C) does not affect the appearance or colour of the fabric. Avoiding excessive modification of the hand and drop of the fabric as well as its physical and fire retardant properties. Testing fabrics of different weights to confirm that the adhesive does not pass through the fabric at all.

• The use of corona plasma as a pre-treatment for materials that will be dyed with natural dyes using micronisation and batch dyeing using dry, environmentally friendly and cost-effective approaches, without manual operations or the use of chemicals. Improving aspects such as corrosion, hardness, wettability and adhesion without affecting the general properties of the fabric, improving the fabric’s affinity for natural dyes.

• The customisation of garments and fabrics using laser marking after dyeing with natural dyes, practically eliminating waste. Analysing the affects and reaction of the area marked in the dyeing process. It was observed that laser marking does not affect the subsequent process of dyeing with natural dyes, and that laser marking on pre-dyed fabric is reproducible.

• An evaluation of the advantages of each process (Life cycle analysis, carbon footprint), in a comparative analysis to check the environmental improvement in the category of Climate Change (Carbon Footprint) among 6 eco-sustainable textile processes compared to their traditional counterparts. The reduction of the environmental impact of processes when substituted for these eco-sustainable processes, as regards the global warming potential of each of the sustainable solutions compared to the traditional alternative. To calculate the Carbon Footprint of the different processes, the emission factors included in the 5th Evaluation Report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have been used. This panel of experts is in charge of periodically assessing the global impact potential of the different gases emitted on our planet.

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After completing the different lines of work in the project and their respective characterisations, even better results were achieved than when using traditional finishing processes, including the improved versatility offered by some of these new eco processes compared to traditional approaches.

The comparative study of eco-sustainable processes versus traditional ones, carried out in accordance with the UNE-CEN ISO / TS 14067 standard “Greenhouse gases. Carbon footprint of products. Requirements and guidelines for quantification and communication” concludes that that the eco-alternatives reduce carbon footprints with environmental impact compared to conventional alternatives by between 30% and 99%, using micronized dyeing with reactive dyes and hydrophilic pre-treatment respectively, as can be seen in the table below:

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VESTLIFE – A NEW MODULAR, ULTRA LIGHTWEIGHT BALLISTIC SOLUTION

R+D Projects

4th February 2020

Protective clothing is designed to protect the soldier against ballistic threat. The demands for protective clothing are strict yet contradictory, requiring a combination of optimum protection and comfort. For example, denser and more waterproof textiles increase protection, but are uncomfortable. This makes the design and development of effective protective clothing a complex issue.

Optimisation between weight and protection helps create the ideal clothing for a specific mission. Most commercially available ballistic systems have several disadvantages, mainly weight, but also others such as poor flexibility and design deficiencies due to differences in anatomy. Additionally, protection systems are based primarily on kinetic energy threats while NBC protection is limited.

The core objective of the VESTLIFE project is to develop a new lightweight modular integral solution for ballistic protection that also integrates an NBC protection system.

VESTLIFE has received funding from the European Union Preparatory Action for Defence Research-PADR Programme, under the call for research action on “Force protection and advanced soldier systems beyond current programmes”, under the sub-theme “Tailor-made blast, ballistic and CBRN protection of military personnel”.

VESTLIFE started on 27 April 2018 and will run for 36 months. The project consortium includes CITEVE (Portugal), Brapa Consultancy (Netherlands), TECNALIA (Spain), Petroceramics (Italy) FY-Composites (Finland), with AITEX (Spain) as project coordinator.
The project aims to develop different types of ballistic protection body armour with advanced performance characteristics. The system will consist of different levels; flexible panels for low and medium levels of ballistic protection and rigid plates for higher levels.
In order to find the optimal architecture of the materials in the product, an optimal point has to be found based on experience in terms of comfort and protective performance. A software model will provide information and the ability to define garment architecture that will be created during the integration phase, to validate garment performance.

The technical work of the project (Figure 1), will develop lighter modular ballistic protection that increases the protected area without affecting user comfort, in addition to adapting the required protection requirements to different areas of the body (adapting the protection surface to the level of risk of the mission and the vital organs of the body). In parallel, NBQR sensors will be integrated for the detection of possible risks, in addition to developing a predictive mathematical model of the possible risks expected in the different scenarios that may arise.

Figura 1

Figure 1: a work flow diagram to build the new modular, ultralightweight ballistic protection solution.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Ballistic scenarios and requirements, including comfort were defined and established under international testing standards. First-hand information was collected through surveys of soldiers. Ballistic protection systems are being developed using composite auxiliary materials and 3D textiles that complement the more traditional materials.

At the same time, polymeric panels of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) are under development, beneath which the auxiliary materials are inserted to complement and improve the behaviour of the assembly. The panels have been tested in ballistic rooms under the NATO Standard STANAG 2920, establishing a NIJ III requirement level with a V50 x 847 m/s using 7.62 mm FMJ (Full Metal Jacket) ammunition or a metal coated bullet tip. Synthesis with modified ceramic for ballistic panels that achieve NIJ IV level, maximum protection, is also a work in progress.

These developments, and tests are currently under development, within the respective work packages comprising the project.

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The project is financed by the European Union Preparatory Action for Defence Research-PADR Programme in accordance with grant agreement no 800876 [VESTLIFE].

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AITEX INCORPORATES NEW TEXTILE RECYCLING APPROVALS: GRS AND RSC

INNOVATION

21st February 2020

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AITEX is a leading organisation for issuing these approvals and certificates.

Textile recycling converts waste into new products or material for later use, prevents the loss of potentially useful materials, reduces the consumption of new raw material and cuts the use of energy, air pollution (from incineration) and water (from spillage).

The Recycled Claim Standard  (RCS), developed by Textile Exchange, is a chain of custody standard that maintains the identity of a recycled raw material and traces that raw material from entry into the final product. The RCS accredits the presence and quantity of recycled material in a final product by verifying the point of entry and its value chain by a third party. The RCS does not address other environmental aspects of the production process (such as energy and water consumption or the use of chemical products), quality issues, social responsibility or legal requirements. RCS users are recyclers, manufacturers, brands and retailers, certification bodies and organisations that support recycled materials initiatives.

The Global Recycle Standard  (GRS) was originally developed in 2008, but ownership passed to Textile Exchange (TE) on January 1, 2011. TE initiated a revision of the standard in early 2012 to make the standard more robust and to include new requirements. The GRS aims to meet the needs of companies seeking to verify the recycled content of their products (both finished and intermediate) by a third party and verify responsible social, environmental and chemical practices in their production. The standard covers the processing, manufacturing, packaging, labelling, trade and distribution of all products made with a minimum of 20% recycled material.

Although it was developed for the textile industry, GRS can also be applied to products from other sectors.

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