Brand and supplier commitment to Responsible Wool Standard grows

Brand and supplier commitment to Responsible Wool Standard grows

Textile Exchange announces broad commitments from across the textile industry to the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS). The Responsible Wool Standard is a voluntary global standard that addresses the welfare of sheep and of the land they graze on. Fifteen brands have made commitments to the Responsible Wool Standard, including H&M, Marks & Spencer, William-Sonoma, Inc., Patagonia, Eddie Bauer, REI, Eileen Fisher, Tchibo, Varner, Vaude, Coyuchi, Mountain Equipment Co-op, Deckers, Kathmandu, and Knowledge Cotton ApparelRWS Logo

“H&M commits to using RWS wool and we have a long term goal to only use RWS certified wool in our products.” – Madelene Ericsson, H&M

“Eddie Bauer is committed to the RWS, and will begin shifting our material base to RWS-certified fibre in 2017, with a goal of being 100% certified as soon as our supply chain can provide RWS fibre across all categories.” – Damien Huang, Eddie Bauer

“We take expert care to ensure that everything that bears the Coyuchi label is produced and processed to the strictest environmental standards in safe and humane conditions, from farm to factory to home; thus, we’re looking forward to adopting RWS wool in our supply chain for Fall 2017.” – Jesse Montano, Coyuchi

“RWS is a key component of Patagonia’s approach to wool sourcing and we’re proud to have played a significant role in its development along with the Textile Exchange and many other committed partners.”– Nick Allen, Patagonia

Ten additional companies have expressed support of the standard and are working toward implementation. These include: LL Bean, Arc’teryx, Indigenous Designs, Nau, Point6 and prAna.

The RWS has been pilot audited, calibrated and applied to wool growing farms of different sizes, geographic regions and countries including Australia, New Zealand, USA, Argentina, China, UK and South Africa.

In a meaningful step towards integrating the RWS into existing trading models, the RWS has been registered as a quality assurance scheme within the Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX) wool auction trading system. This step will allow woolgrowers and brokers in Australia to register their wool clips as RWS Certified and will appear in the auction catalogue as ‘RWS’ so that wool buyers can easily identify RWS wool in the Australian auction system. Certificates issued by the Certification Bodies will still be required to verify certification.

We are proud to announce that the first RWS scope certificate will be issued to Tchibo by Control Union by the end of October. It may be a number of months before RWS certified wool is available but once it is, the scope certificate will allow Tchibo to start to continuously integrate the certified material when it becomes available.

“We support the work of Textile Exchange to establish a Responsible Wool Standard. We look forward to developing our targets for future use once the supply chain is adequately developed.” – Anne Marie Ragland, prAna

There are many wool suppliers who have expressed their own commitment to the Responsible Wool Standard: Rambler’s Way, Imperial Stock Ranch, New Merino Australia, Oviz 21, Chargeurs, ABMT Textiles, Lanas Trinidad and Lemprière. Several other wool suppliers have participated in global training events with a focus on setting up an RWS supply chain.

The RWS addresses animal welfare practices and land management in wool farming across the world. The Standard was released in June 2016 after two years of development with a large International Working Group comprised of producer groups, animal welfare groups, suppliers, brands and other stakeholders.

Textile Exchange (TE), founded in 2002, is a global non-profit organization that works closely with all sectors of the textile supply chain to find the best ways to minimize and even reverse the negative impacts on people, air, water, animals and soil created by this USD 1.7 trillion industry. TE accomplishes this by providing the knowledge and tools this industry needs to make significant improvements in three core areas: Fibre and Materials, Integrity and Standards, and Supply Chain. TE has developed and maintains a number of important industry standards, including the Responsible Down Standard, the Organic Content Standard, the Recycled Claim Standard and the Global Recycled Standard. A truly global organization, TE is headquartered in the United States with Staff and Ambassadors located in eleven countries.

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