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.
Textiles & Fibres
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Apparel and footwear accounts for 60% of the textiles and fibres industry and97% of the feedstock it uses comes from virgin sources
184 tonnes of the pulp produced globally for paper is of virgin wood fibre origin – with 92 million tonnes of that coming specifically from ancient and endangered forests.
Many of the 218 million child-workers (ages 5 to 17) in the world today work in fields and sewing rooms as part of the textile and fibre industry
The textiles and fibres industry is committed to tackling sustainability challenges through feedstock and production system innovations, with a strong focus on the use of bio-based and circular approaches.
WHAT NEXT FOR THE TEXTILES & FIBRES SECTOR?
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:
- Human and labour rights
- Water and chemical usage
- Traceability of components
- GHG emissions across the lifecycle
The sector is looking for solutions today.
- BIO-BASED MATERIALS
- INCREASED CIRCULARITY
- GHG REDUCTION
- FAIR WORKPLACE PRACTICES
- MATERIALS INNOVATION
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.
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.
FAIR WORKPLACE PRACTICES
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.
Practical Solutions for the Textiles & Fibres Sector
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.
Key Benefits of Working With RSB
- MULTI FEEDSTOCK
- NGO ENDORSEMENT
- SUPPLY CHAIN SUSTAINABILITY
- BEYOND FIBRES
RSB certification is suitable for any feedstock, material, or supply chain — on a global level – meaning that brands can use one certification solution, with one set of claims, for all of their products.
One uniform standard can be used for textiles and fibres produced from agricultural and forest settings, as well as recycled and waste materials.
RSB certifications works with existing infrastructure as well as new and innovative processes and facilities, thereby building on highly efficient supply chains while unlocking the potential in the latest developments.
RSB certification gives four different options for traceability, depending on the material, market and manufacturing.
RSB can certify supply chains and products as:
- Identity Preserved
- Product Segregated
- Mass Balance
- Category III
RSB certifications contains robust sustainability criteria recognised and trusted by WWF, IUCN, and NRDC.
The RSB Standard is approved through a multi-stakeholder, consensus-based process which is compliant with ISEAL.
SUPPLY CHAIN SUSTAINABILITY
RSB’s environmental and social sustainability requirements apply to industrial operators as well as feedstock producers, ensuring high levels of confidence in social and environmental claims along the entire supply chain.
RSB’s approach can be applied to fuel used in logistics and energy for both factories and other locations, meaning that one solution can give sustainability assurance to the whole range of different activities within a brand’s operations.
In their new report Canopy recommends RSB Certification for agricultural fibre products in order to: - ensure sustainable removals - maintain soil carbon - ensure overall social and environmental sustainability
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.
RSB Advisory Services
RSB offers a range of tailored advisory services to unlock our expertise and promote sustainability in the textiles & fibres sector.
RSB can conduct GAP analysis and risk assessments at farm and industrial level to identify key sustainability risks and existing sustainability management practices.
CHAIN OF CUSTODY
RSB can help you assess your Chain of Custody approaches and methodologies to ensure credibility.
SUPPLY CHAIN MAPPING
RSB’s team of experts will develop a sustainability protocol, in line with our best-in-class standard, to apply within your organisation and/or your suppliers and partners. The sustainability protocol is a user-friendly and consistent tool with which to evaluate feedstocks and make decisions and your production.
RSB's Textiles & Fibres Team
Outreach & Engagement Director // Sector Lead: Textiles & Fibres
As Outreach & Engagement Director, Hannah is responsible for all outreach and engagement activities at the RSB, as well as a member of the leadership team. She oversees the development of RSB’s membership community, the creation of events throughout the […]Read More
Technical Director // Sector Lead: Chemicals & Polymers
Nicola is responsible for the development of new RSB Standards and procedures, and the continuous improvement of existing ones. This involves interaction with RSB’s membership, scientific experts, and stakeholder community to ensure that the RSB Standards rely on solid science […]Read More
Yitatek K. Yitbarek
Regional Manager - Africa // Sector Lead: Energy
Yitatek is RSB’s Regional Manager for Africa. Based in Ethiopia, his work focuses on developing a Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) roadmap and managing engagement with key local and regional stakeholders who will play a role in driving the development of […]Read More
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.
With credible solutions, global expertise, partners across the spectrum from government to industry and NGOs, and an extremely robust approach to sustainability, RSB is the partner of choice for the aviation industry as it seeks to fulfil its global commitments to greenhouse gas reduction while also ensuring social development and environmental protection.
RSB is a member-led organisation which represents a worldwide movement of businesses, NGOs, academics, government and UN organisations that have demonstrated their commitment to the development of the sustainable bioeconomy by working together to create our most trusted Standard.
The RSB Standard is the strongest and most trusted of its kind, recognised as such by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
Germany's oldest eco label, Blauer Engel (Blue Angel), found that RSB is the only certification system for biomass that fulfil their own rigorous requirements to be recognised under their own approach.