The textiles and fibres industry is woven into the fabric of our lives, with its products covering our bodies, homes, workplaces and more – in forms ranging from apparel and footwear to paper and packaging, upholstery, and furnishings. A massive industry of this kind, where the apparel and footwear segment alone accounts for a $1.7 trillion market representing over 2% of the global GDP, requires tremendous amounts of raw material input on a daily basis — from both natural and synthetic sources.
Such an enormous industry has, unsurprisingly, a dramatic footprint in terms of social and environmental sustainability. Consumers, NGOs and companies around the world are increasingly aware of the impacts of the textiles and fibres they use and the industry is looking for solutions to key concerns, including:
The sector is looking for solutions today.
The sector already relies heavily on bio-based feedstocks for many products and will increasingly look to replace fossil feedstocks used in many materials with bio-based alternatives. However, without sustainability certification, the textiles and fibres industry’s production systems might lead to food security being threatened, human, labour, and land rights being infringed upon, and environmental damage such as destruction of forests and water resources.
Waste feedstock offers an exciting solution for companies looking to increase the circularity of their production system. Increased technology, capacity and uptake for chemical recycling – which breaks products down to their monomer form to re-enter the production system – is helping to overcome the limitations of mechanical recycling of textiles and fibres.
Demonstrating GHG reduction across the supply chain enables industry to represent climate impacts down to the individual product – helping increasingly climate-conscious consumers to make better choices.
Companies and consumers are looking to understand the social impact of every product – ensuring that fair workplace practices can be traced back to field and factory is of key importance for the sector.
Related to circularity and increased use of bio-based materials, the sector is looking to use innovative materials that can replace traditional options and offer a range of benefits in terms of recyclability, circularity, social and environmental sustainability and climate impact.
The RSB Advanced Products Standard has been developed to support the textiles and fibres sector with its transition to real and credible sustainability, by providing a system to trace materials and impacts through complex supply chains and processes – enabling industry leaders to make powerful sustainability claims about their products.
RSB’s unique approach to Positive Impacts enables companies to demonstrate clearly that their products are produced more sustainably, with reduced greenhouse gas emissions and fewer fossil resources.
Products that achieve the RSB’s Advanced Products Standard certification are supported by three powerful claims about their positive impacts.
RSB Certified Advanced Products:
By creating solutions to ensure the sustainability of evolving bio-based and circular production, agricultural and energy systems, RSB is helping to drive a just transition to a net positive world.
By 2030, the RSB will have supported the emergence of a new world bioeconomy founded on social, economic and environmental considerations that contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals – reducing climate impacts, enhancing food security and rural development, and protecting ecosystems.