Textile Exchange say 15 brands have committed to the voluntary standard

Textile Exchange say 15 brands have committed to the voluntary standard

Textile Exchange has revealed more brands and suppliers are pledging their commitment to the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS), taking the total number of brands on board to 15.

The standard was released earlier this year to provide the industry with a benchmark for animal welfare and land management practices in sheep farming, as well as improved traceability.

It aims to provide the industry with the best possible tool to recognise the best practices of farmers around the globe; ensure wool comes from responsibly treated sheep, and from farms with a progressive approach to managing their land; and build communication and understanding between farmers, consumers and brands.

It is also intended to provide a robust chain of custody system from farm to final product to ensure consumer confidence in RWS products.

Now, Textile Exchange says 15 brands have made commitments including H&M, Marks & Spencer, William-Sonoma, Patagonia, Eddie Bauer, REI, Eileen Fisher, Tchibo, Varner, Vaude, Coyuchi, Mountain Equipment Co-op, Deckers, Kathmandu, and Knowledge Cotton Apparel.

In addition, ten other companies including LL Bean, Arc'teryx, Indigenous Designs, Nau, Point6 and prAna have expressed support of the standard and are working toward implementation.

Meanwhile, wool suppliers such as Rambler's Way, Imperial Stock Ranch, New Merino Australia, Oviz 21, Chargeurs, ABMT Textiles, Lanas Trinidad and Lemprière have noted their own commitment to the RWS, while several other wool suppliers have participated in global training events with a focus on setting up an RWS supply chain.

To date, 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. It has also been registered as a quality assurance scheme within the Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX) wool auction trading system, allowing wool growers and brokers in Australia to register their wool clips as RWS Certified.

Next month, the first RWS scope certificate will be issued to German brand Tchibo by Control Union. Despite the fact it may be a number of months before RWS certified wool is available, the scope certificate will allow Tchibo to permanently use the certified material when it becomes available.

Responsible Wool Standard includes ban on mulesing