Our Use of Recycled Materials

By Alex Guerrero

We’re doing our bit. And we always have. We’re on a long journey towards being an even more environmentally and socially responsible business. Part of that is using recycled content in our products. But why do we use it? What different kinds of materials can we use? And how are they certified?

A Brief Overview

  1. Why do we use recycled content fabrics?
  2. What does post-consumer recycled mean?
  3. What does post-industrial recycled mean?
  4. Certifications

Why do we use recycled content fabrics?

 

We estimate that two thirds of the carbon impact of a product is from the raw materials and manufacturing. That’s a lot that we can control. That’s why we always try to lower the impact of everything we make. By using recycled materials, we can contribute towards a more circular economy by creating new products without creating new resources.

Recycled materials still need to be technical, functional, and durable. The best materials for the job. After all, it’s not sustainable for materials to break down after one use!

Every little helps. We’re super-duper proud of even small increases in recycled content for our products. The Griffon fleece is not entirely recycled. But it’s made with 35% more recycled content than the last edition. A step in the right direction!

What does post-consumer recycled mean?

Post-consumer recycled content is made from items you recycle every day. You just pop your rubbish in your recycling bin. Then it gets shipped to a facility and is melted or ground into small pellets which are made into new items. It’s most common with plastic and you can see it in lots of our products – like the Koulin trail running range!

Econyl® is a form of regenerated nylon that takes recycled nylon waste – such as fishing nets – and makes it into new products, like our Nefyn and Dulsie swimwear . It’s taking ocean waste and repurposing it for use in the ocean again.

What does post-industrial recycled mean?

Post-industrial waste is sometimes referred to as pre-consumer waste. It’s material (rather than finished goods) taken from the manufacturing process and then recycled. It’s typically most common with nylon – like in the outer fabric of our Fantom and Filoment down jackets.

Certifications

There are different kinds of international, voluntary standards for recycled content. Their aim is to set requirements for third-party certification of the recycled input and chain of custody. The Global Recycling Standard (GRS) and the Recycled Claim Standard (RCS) ensure responsible production, credible certification and stakeholder engagement.

It sounds quite serious, doesn’t it? But the main goal is just making sure your products are what they say they are, and helping you make informed decisions.

Recycled Claim Standard

The Recycled Claim Standard focuses on where the material came from. It doesn’t specify whether a process met a certain manufacturing standard. The RCS verifies that content is recycled and provides a definition for what “recycled” means.

Global Recycling Standard

The Global Recycling Standard (GRS) is the gold standard. GRS stipulates a higher minimum recycled content to reach certification than the RCS. It aims to reduce harmful impacts on people and environment. It provides assurance that products are processed more sustainably.

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