Certification system

“The Nordic textile reuse and recycling commitment” is a voluntary certification system with the aim to engage stakeholders in committing to common goals of reducing the environmental impact from textile consumption and increasing the competitiveness of the Nordic region.

The certification system is currently targeted on collectors of textiles. There are two certificates available, one for collection of textiles aimed for reuse only and one for collection of textiles for reuse and textile waste. The collector needs to comply with a number of criteria focusing on transparency and environmental performance in order to be certified. The criteria are available in a standard, “Standard for transparency and environmental performance” that comes in two versions, on for each kind of certificate.  The criteria compliance is verified by an independent third party auditor.

The certification system is run by a certification system operator (CSO). IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute acts as interim certification system operator during the trial phase.

The specific goals of the certification system are to:

  • Enable legitimate actors to collect, sort, reuse and recycle textiles in cooperation with producers, importers and authorities.
  • Eliminate the illegal collection, export and trading of post-consumer textiles.
  • Increase transparency on the fate of collected textiles and the purpose of the collection and increase public confidence in collecting organisations.
  • Within ten years double the share of post-consumer textiles that are collected separately across the Nordic region compared to 2012.
  • Strive towards a ten year goal of at least 50% of collected textiles are reused (either in Nordic countries or abroad) and 90% of the total is reused or where reuse not possible, recycled. Aim towards closed loop recycling rather than downcycling.
  • Ensure that all actors comply with third party verified social code of conducts.

The certification system has been developed in collaboration with textile industry, collectors, municipalities and waste companies to ensure reasonable criteria. These should be possible both to achieve and to control while still setting clear ambitions for the management of used textiles and textile waste.

For an in-depth description of the background to the “The Nordic textile reuse and recycling commitment”, please take a look at the Reports.