8 min read

Recycled Claims Standard, Explained

This article dives deep into the RCS, its objectives, criteria, and its significance in the modern era.

Written by:

Christi Farrell, RA, Leed GA


November 8, 2022

Image source:

Studio Marlowe

When designing healthy homes, sustainability is often a core consideration alongside aesthetic and functional elements. Amid a growing ecological consciousness, the Recycled Claims Standard (RCS) has become increasingly relevant.

But what exactly is the RCS and how does it intersect with the goal of creating healthy living spaces? In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the RCS, examine its implications for interior design, and reference brands that have adopted this certification.

We will also tackle frequently asked questions concerning RCS in the context of interior design.

What is Recycled Claims Standard?

Definition and Goals

The Recycled Claims Standard (RCS) is a certification that verifies the recycled content in a product.

Developed by Textile Exchange, a global non-profit organization, RCS aims to increase the use of recycled materials in a transparent and traceable way.

The standard encompasses not only textiles but a multitude of products that can be part of an interior design scheme, from furniture to decorative objects.

Importance in Interior Design

RCS directly relates to interior design because it ensures that the materials used comply with specific environmental criteria, thereby enabling designers to make more informed and responsible choices.

For those committed to creating healthy homes, RCS-certified products are attractive because they reduce the demand for virgin resources, thus minimizing the overall environmental footprint of their designs.

The Benefits of RCS-Certified Products in Healthy Homes

Reduction of Environmental Impact

Using RCS-certified products in interior design greatly reduces environmental impact.

By verifying that the materials contain a certain percentage of recycled content, RCS encourages the reuse of materials, which can otherwise contribute to pollution and resource depletion.

Indoor Air Quality and Health

Choosing RCS-certified materials can contribute favorably to indoor air quality.

Recycled materials are less likely to release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are often found in new, synthetic materials, thus fostering a healthier indoor environment.

Promotion of Sustainable Practices

RCS supports and promotes sustainable practices within the manufacturing process.

When interior designers opt for RCS-certified products, they encourage vendors and suppliers to adhere to more sustainable production methods, creating a ripple effect in the industry.

Compliance and Verification

RCS follows strict protocols to certify products.

The standard requires third-party verification to validate claims of recycled content.

This process includes supply chain audits and requires proper documentation and labeling.

By ensuring compliance through third-party verification, RCS maintains its integrity and reliability.

Impact of RCS on Material Selection for Designers

Interior designers, in their role to specify materials for home environments, must now consider the consequences of their choices more deeply. RCS certification becomes a valuable tool for designers to select materials that are not only visually appealing and durable but are also in line with the environmental and health criteria that their clients demand.

Brands with Recycled Claims Standard Certification

Several brands in the interior design industry have embraced the RCS, showcasing their commitment to sustainable practices.

These brands offer a range of products, from furniture to textiles, that carry the certification.

Furniture Brands

  • Greenington: Known for its bamboo furniture, Greenington offers RCS-certified products that combine sustainability with modern design.

  • Emeco: Emeco's line of recycled aluminum chairs is RCS-certified, reflecting a fusion of design innovation and environmental stewardship.

Textile Brands

  • Aquafil: Specializing in synthetic fibers, Aquafil produces RCS-certified yarns used for a variety of interior textiles.

  • Texloop RCOT™ Primo: A circular economy product for the textile industry, Texloop uses recycled content verified by RCS, providing options for eco-conscious fabrics.

These brands demonstrate that it is possible to deliver high-quality, beautifully designed products while also prioritizing environmental responsibility and health.

FAQs About Recycled Claims Standard

Who oversees the RCS?

RCS is managed by Textile Exchange, a global non-profit organization.

Does RCS certification guarantee product safety?

While RCS verifies recycled content, it does not directly certify product safety. However, products with recycled content tend to have a reduced environmental footprint, which can contribute to healthier living spaces.

Can RCS-certified products help in obtaining other green building certifications?

Yes, using RCS-certified products can contribute to points in green building certifications such as LEED, which take into account the use of sustainable materials.

How can consumers identify RCS-certified products?

Consumers can look for the RCS label on products or check the brand's certifications on their website. Textile Exchange also maintains a database of certified products and brands.

Are there any limitations to RCS?

RCS focuses solely on verifying the recycled content, and while important, it is only one aspect of assessing a product’s overall environmental and health impact.


The Recycled Claims Standard embodies an essential component of sustainable and healthy interior design.

By prioritizing the use of RCS-certified products, designers and homeowners can advance the use of recycled materials, reduce the environmental impact of their homes, and create healthier living spaces.

As the industry continues to evolve with a more robust understanding of sustainability, RCS emerges as a crucial certification for responsible design choices.

Brand engagement with RCS is a testament to the evolving nature of the design industry — one that is increasingly aligning with the principles of sustainability and environmental stewardship.

As more consumers and designers alike recognize the value of certifications like RCS, we can expect a continued rise in sustainable design practices that support not only the aesthetic and functional requirements of living spaces but also the well-being of the occupants and the planet.

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Christi Farrell

Christi is a licensed architect and interior designer specializing in sustainability. She enjoys teaching design and bringing transparency to the impact that furniture has on our planet.

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