A new standard designed to help companies track and verify certified organically grown raw materials through the supply chain is being launched by not-for-profit organisation Textile Exchange.

The Organic Content Standard (OCS) uses scope and transaction certificates which track the input and output at each step, all of which are verified by an independent third-party.

The OCS combines the former OE 100 and OE Blended standards, which were developed as a means of tracking organic cotton through the supply chain - and will eventually replace them.

According to Textile Exchange, what's new about the OCS is that it will apply to any kind of certified organically grown material, not just cotton.

There will continue to be two options for labelling, according to final organic material percentages and whether this has been blended with its conventional counterpart.

There will be a transition period while certification bodies become accredited to the new standard, and companies already certified to the OE standards will transition to the OCS in their next annual renewal audit.

The Materials Traceability Working Group (MTWG), which is part of the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) Sustainability Working Group, is also exploring the possibility of using a similar approach with other materials used in the apparel and footwear industries, including recycled inputs, wool, and down.