What is GRS recycled polyester?

Maaike de Boer
Maaike de Boer
  • Updated

GRS recycled polyester

The Global Recycled Standard (GRS) is a voluntary product standard for tracking and verifying the content of recycled materials in a final product. The standard applies to the full supply chain and addresses traceability, environmental principles, social requirements, chemical content and labeling.



Organizations involved in recycling, production and trade of GRS products are subject to GRS certification. Each type of organisation has different paperwork requirements (as identified in the graphic above).

  • The Reclaimed Material Declaration Form acts as a guarantee that materials listed and sold to another organisation in the supply chain are reclaimed materials that would have otherwise gone into the waste stream.
  • The Transaction Certificate identifies the parties involved, country of dispatch, facility identification and specific materials and weight of materials included in a transfer of ownership. Production and trading organisations must also declare the pre- and post-consumer recycled content of the materials.

The GRS also requires certified organisations to be in compliance with the Content Claim Standard (CCS), a chain of custody guideline. This chain of custody requirement makes the paperwork transfer an important aspect of the standard to verify the actual recycled content of a final product.
The GRS also includes social, environmental and chemical criteria to verify responsible practices in the production of certified product. The social criteria of the standard require organisational policies that:

PROHIBIT Forced, bonded, indentured, prison or child labour
Discrimination, harassment and abuse of workers
PROTECT Freedom of association and provides recognition of the right to collective bargaining
Health and safety of workers
PROVIDE Wages, benefits and terms of employment that meet or exceed legal minimums
Working hours that comply with national laws, benchmark industry standards or relevant international standards


For environmental criteria, organisations:

MUST HAVE An environmental management system (EMS) that meets criteria outlined in the standard
MUST HAVE A chemical management system (CMS) that meets criteria defined in the standard

Energy and water use


Emissions to Air

Waste Management


The standard addresses only the use and management of chemicals in the processing of GRS products.

RESTRICT Substances classified as dangerous to human health and/or to the environment by REACH under Substances of Very High Concern (SVAC)
RESTRICT Substances (and mixtures classified with particular hazard codes or risk phases identified in Table A of the standard) with established health or environmental concerns
RESTRICT Substances that do not comply with the Manufacturer’s Restricted Substance List (MRSL) from ZDHC (roadmaptozero.com)


The GRS provides risk management for all aspects of the supply chain but is particularly important for brands and manufacturers that are making recycled content claims to their customers. With GRS certification, you can communicate to customers your commitment to truth in materials and support for a circular economy that reduces waste by using it to make new products.

Want to learn even more? Textile Exchange


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