& Fibres

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: Fast Facts

Apparel and footwear accounts for 60% of the textiles and fibres industry and 97% 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


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.

Industry Solutions

Bio-based Materials

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.

Increased Circularity

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.

Fair Workplace

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.

RSB Sector Lead

Marketing & Communications Manager

Sector Lead - Textiles & Fibres

Key Benefits of Working with RSB


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.


In their latest report, launched at Davos 2020, Canopy Planet recommends RSB certification for agricultural fibre products – in order to ensure sustainable removals, maintain soil carbon, and ensure overall social and environmental 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.

Positive Impacts

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:

Download RSB’s Guide to Advanced Products Certification

RSB Advisory Services

RSB offers a range of tailored advisory services to unlock our expertise and promote sustainability in the textiles & fibres sector.

These include:


RSB can conduct GAP analysis and risk assessments at farm and industrial level to identify key sustainability risks and existing sustainability management practices.


RSB can work with you to develop roadmaps and stepwise approaches to help implement sustainability practices and create impact at production level.


RSB can help you assess your Chain of Custody approaches and methodologies to ensure credibility.


RSB will work with you to uncover your supply chains, understand the sustainability criteria that apply to your specific requirements and provide recommendations to support sustainability and traceability throughout your supply chain.


RSB’s sustainable feedstock resource assessment approach enables you to identify sustainable feedstocks and pathways in a given region (local / national / regional) for the development of projects with sustainability built into their foundation.


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.

What Others Say

  • “We are very proud to have achieved RSB certification of Olefins and Polyolefins from our Cologne site. Being able to offer Bio-Attributed Olefins and Polymers represents another concrete step for INEOS along the path towards a more circular and sustainable economy.”

    Liz Rittweger
    Business Director, INEOS Olefins and Polymers
  • “The RSB standard has shattered the glass ceiling, accelerating development in the bioeconomy space.”

    Jason Leadbitter
    Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, INOVYN
  • “The RSB standard for Advanced Products will be a critical standard supporting both the development of a circular and bio-based economy. It is unique in that it covers a broad range of possible feedstocks and supply chain options including bio-based products, carbon recycling and the use of bio-based feedstocks in complex integrated production systems and supply chains.”

    Susanne Veith
    EU Government Affairs Manager, DowDuPont Specialty Products (DuPont) Division
  • “Procter and Gamble is very pleased to be a member of the RSB. As a company, our long term vision is to use 100% renewable or recycled materials for our products and packaging. As we move to replace petroleum-based materials with renewable ones, sustainable sourcing will be key to ensuring our products are truly renewable for generations to come. Our new partnership with the RSB will help us to maintain the highest standards of sustainable sourcing as we embark on this journey.”

    Virginia Helias
    Vice President, Sustainability, Procter & Gamble


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.

Through its most trusted certification scheme, RSB enables companies across the bio-based, advanced products, and circular economy to demonstrate real and credible sustainability.

RSB provides expert consultancy through its advisory services, which are grounded in the highest levels of social and environmental sustainability, and are designed to support our clients’ most crucial needs throughout their supply chains — as they seek to transition to a positive impact and circular economy.

By building partnerships across sectors, RSB is using the power of its sustainability standard through driving collective action to address the systems changes required to enable people and the planet to thrive.

RSB engages in targeted advocacy to support policy makers around the world in embedding meaningful and trusted sustainability – as outlined in the RSB Standard – into legislation, policy, and regulations.

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