The Content Claim Standard will provide a new level of authenticity to materials claims – ensuring that companies can confidently label their products and consumers can trust those claims

Over a year in the making, the Content Claim Standard (CCS), written by Textile Exchange, gives companies a tool to establish a chain of custody for the materials in their products.   The standard sets requirements to ensure that the identity and integrity of the ‘claimed’ materials are protected as material flows from source to finished product. The standard makes use of transaction certificates (TC’s) which track the input and output at each step, allowing for a mass balance calculation that will ensure the accuracy of percentage claims. Because there are no restrictions on the material to be tracked, the standard has a wide range of application beyond textiles.

Textile Exchange has partnered with Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) to give the standard a thorough review from a variety of stakeholders via the Materials Traceability Working Group (MTWG).  The MTWG is co-led by TE and OIA and is a subset of the broader OIA Sustainability Working Group (SWG).

The standard is largely based on the work of the OE standards, developed in 2004 as a means to track organic cotton through the supply chain. The OE standards have been highly successful in supporting the production of organic cotton, without making restrictions on the processing of the products. The CCS has the potential to support the growth of a variety of raw materials, by allowing companies to accurately and confidently label the content of their products. As a chain of custody standard, the CCS provides a greater level of transparency into supply chains, and is a flexible tool that can be easily combined with other social and/or environmental standards.

“To back up a claim to something with the CCS gives us better footing to know that what we are claiming is valid, and that’s a real competitive advantage. Additionally, it’s a platform from which you’re having a discussion with your supplier. If we’re doing it alone, and not to a standard that other people are using, then it doesn’t influence much broad change. But if everyone is carrying that same flag, then the supplier has a greater reason to perform to the level we’re asking.”

-Sarah Kelley, Econscious

Textile Exchange and OIA members, via the MTWG, are now working on leveraging the CCS and existing organic farming standards to create an Organic Content Standard that will replace the current OE standards and will apply to a full range of organic inputs.  The MTWG is also exploring the possibility of using a similar approach with other materials categories relevant to the outdoor and broader apparel and footwear industries, including recycled inputs, wool, and down.  Participation in the MTWG and these efforts is open to everyone; if interested, please contact Beth Jensen with OIA: bjensen@outdoorindustry.org.

The CCS is now open to certification bodies for accreditation. As soon as the accreditation process has been completed by the certification bodies, companies may begin the process of third-party certification to the standard. To read through the Standard, Implementation Manual, and additional information, visit: http://textileexchange.org/content/content-claim-standard.

Logo courtesy Textile Exchange

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