The Government Buying Standards for textiles covers uniforms, merchandise and textiles used in cleaning and catering. It also covers textile use for interior products such as chairs. Wall and floor coverings are however excluded as well as leather goods.

What does sustainability mean for textiles?

Textiles can be divided into those derived from natural sources – such as cotton and wool – and synthetics, such as polyester. These have different impacts and the sustainability considerations cover four areas.

  • Exclusions and controls on the use of potentially harmful and toxic chemicals.
  • Reducing the environmental impacts of the product during use.
  • Encouraging greater use of recycled fibres and end of life management.
  • Ethical standards in production.

All central government departments and their related organisations must ensure that they meet at least the mandatory Government Buying Standards when buying goods and services in the product groups covered on this site.

Forthcoming changes in this area

These specifications for textiles were published in December 2010 and are mandatory from March 2011.

Read the specifications for:

Page last modified: 10 October, 2013