Sustainable Textiles

  • Overview
  • Traceability
  • Traceable Down
  • Responsible Wool
  • Recycled Content
  • Benefits
  • Why Work With NSF?

Consumers are becoming more knowledgeable and demanding greater care of animals involved in the foods and products they purchase. Certification can help your organization prove commitment to expanded animal welfare and traceability. A third-party audit and compliance program can help mitigate risk and expand market acceptance of your products.

Research shows that informed consumers want to buy from responsible retailers, and certification informs and ensures customers that the products they purchase are made from responsible sources.

NSF’s independent, third-party validation of textile content claims can support and protect your brand, product or organization against charges of “greenwashing,” while helping strengthen customer trust.


Organizations looking for a traceability verification of specific materials in a final product can benefit from the Textile Exchange Content Claim Standard (CCS). A chain of custody standard, CCS was designed to ensure the accuracy of content claims by requiring a supply chain to take steps that ensure preservation of the integrity and identity of the input material. The CCS is a business-to-business tool that verifies the presence and amount of a given raw material in a final product, allowing for transparent, consistent and comprehensive independent evaluation and verification of material content claims on products. It provides manufacturers, brands, retailers, traders and organizations supporting specific raw material initiatives a strong chain of custody system from source to final product.

The CCS also serves as the chain of custody foundation for other content claim standards that are developed around specific raw materials like organic and recycled content, among others. This common set of requirements across Textile Exchange’s standards contributes to the consistency and efficiency of the certification process. Once a company has been certified to the CCS requirements for one standard, it meets the same chain of custody requirements for other standards based on the CCS, like the Recycled Claim Standard and Organic Content Standard. The standard can be used with any input material and can apply to any supply chain.

The standard does not cover the certification of the raw material itself, instead focusing on traceability of the raw material. The CCS also does not address processing inputs, environmental aspects of processing, social issues, safety issues or legal compliance, or provide a consumer-facing logo.

Traceable Down

NSF Global Traceable Down Mark

NSF International can certify all elements of the down supply chain to the Global Traceable Down Standard (Global TDS). The standard ensures that down in garments and other household and commercial products comes from a responsible source that respects animal welfare and can be transparently traced. Down is a byproduct of the food industry. In this down supply chain, birds may be force fed for foie gras production or even live plucked to get more than one harvest of down from a single bird. The Global TDS goes beyond current industry practice to include the parent farm in the auditing while other programs start at the hatchery. Because parent farm animals live longer, they are at greater risk for live plucking. Certifying to the Global TDS means that you are committed to best animal welfare practices. Consumers can look for the Global TDS mark on products.

The Global TDS also involves a chain of custody component that verifies that traceability systems are in place throughout the entire supply chain. Full traceability provides assurance that conventional down has not been mixed with certified down. Certification is provided not only at the product level but as a whole to the full supply chain feeding into the product line.

Responsible Wool

Responsible Wool Standard Mark

The Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) is a voluntary global standard that addresses the welfare of sheep and land management practices, providing brands with a key differentiation and complete traceability of the wool supply chain.

NSF International, as a global certification body for the RWS, has capabilities to help brands and all parts of the supply chain certify wool and provide chain-of-custody documentation. Building on its experience of helping develop and launch the standard with the Textile Exchange, NSF helps clients map out their supply chain and audits each stage to confirm that all requirements of the standard are met.

The RWS requires all sites that handle the wool, from farms through the final manufacturer, to be certified to the relevant modules. Retailers are not required to be certified. Products may contain 100 percent certified wool or blends ranging from 5 to 99 percent certified wool. Only products containing 100 percent certified wool can be labeled with the consumer-facing RWS logo. Get the benefits of certified wool to validate and highlight your commitment to best practices in animal welfare and land stewardship.

Recycled Content

NSF offers several different standards for companies looking to verify their recycled content claims with the goal of giving credibility to recycled content claims on products. By protecting the trust of consumers as they choose products made of recycled materials, we hope to contribute to the increased use of recycled materials and to the reduction of the amount of waste sent to landfills or incineration.

The Recycled Claim Standard (RCS) is a chain of custody standard for recyclers, manufacturers, brands, retailers and organizations supporting recycled material initiatives to track recycled raw materials through the supply chain, utilizing the chain of custody requirements of the Content Claim Standard (CCS). The Recycled Claim Standard verifies the presence and amount of recycled material in a final product through input and chain of custody verification from NSF International. It allows for transparent, consistent and comprehensive independent evaluation and verification of recycled material content claims on products. It can be used as a business-to-business tool to give companies the means to ensure that they are getting what they are paying for and selling, or as a way to ensure accurate and honest communication with consumers.

The Global Recycled Standard (GRS) is a holistic certification for products with recycled content, providing brands with a tool for encouraging innovation in the use of reclaimed materials, establishing more transparency in the supply chain and providing better information to consumers. The GRS is intended to meet the need of companies looking to verify the recycled content of their products (both finished and intermediate products) and to verify responsible social, environmental and chemical practices in the production of these products. The standard covers processing, manufacturing, packaging, labeling, trading and distribution of all products made with a minimum of 20 percent recycled material.


Consumers are becoming more knowledgeable and demanding greater care of animals involved in our food and apparel systems. Research shows that informed consumers want to buy from responsible retailers. Certification satisfies customer expectations for animal welfare and can provide both brand differentiation and risk management. Through farm and chain of custody audits, certification assures your customers that the products they buy are coming from ethical and responsible sources, with full traceability all the way through the supply chain. Farmers gain a market advantage by validating that their operations implement best practices in animal and land management.

A third-party audit and compliance program can help mitigate risk and expand market acceptance of your products, and also provide a manageable process and system for certification. If your organization is part of a textile or apparel supply chain, certification can help you prove your commitment to responsible farming practices, animal welfare and traceability. At the retail level, certification informs and ensures customers that the products they purchase are made only from responsible sources.

Why Work With NSF?

At NSF we believe auditing should be straightforward, convenient and produce results you can trust. When you choose us, you can expect consistent, personalized service to guide you through the process. With over 70 years of experience auditing and certifying processes and products for safety, health and the environment, NSF International is dedicated to helping organizations and industries develop more sustainable products and operations.

NSF has skilled auditors in over 75 countries so your auditors are local to your countries of operation, which saves time and money. We developed the Traceable Down Standard (TDS) and were involved in conducting Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) pilot audits in the U.S. We conduct inspections for over 18 different animal production sectors in 22 different countries. Our inspection teams are experienced, ISO Lead Assessor qualified (International Register of Certificated Auditors accredited course) and HACCP trained, with agriculture backgrounds or education. Come to NSF for the most comprehensive certification services.

NSF is your trusted partner in auditing, product testing and supply chain compliance.

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