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Textile Industry Grows Commitment to Responsible Wool Standard

More brands and suppliers are pledging to the Responsible Wool Standard and advocating for more humane practices in the textile industry.

Textile Exchange (TE) announced Wednesday that 15 brands have committed to the voluntary global standard, which addresses the welfare of sheep and the management of wool farming land. Retailers supporting this initiative include Coyuchi, Deckers, Eddie Bauer, Eileen Fisher, H&M, Kathmandu, Knowledge Cotton Apparel, Marks & Spencer, Mountain Equipment Co-op, Patagonia, REI, Tchibo, Varner, Vaude and William-Sonoma.

“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 human conditions, from farm to factory to home; thus we’re looking forward to adopting RWS wool in our supply chain for Fall 2017,” Coyuchi vice president of marketing and e-commerce, Jesse Montano, said.

Ten other companies are also backing up the standard and working to fully implement better supply chain practices. Arc’teryx, Indigenous Designs, LL Bean, Nau, Point6 and PrAna are all developing long-term goals to comply with animal rights and manage grazing properties more sustainably.

Additionally, many wool suppliers have taken part in global training events to improve their supply chain operations. Wool suppliers that signed the Responsible Wool Standard include ABMT Textiles, Chargeurs, Imperial Stock Ranch, Lanas Trinidad, Lemprière, New Merino Australia, Ovis 21 and Rambler’s Way.

Today, the RWS has been applied and pilot audited to many wool growing farms worldwide, including those in Australia, Argentina, China, South Africa, the U.K. and the U.S. The RWS also registered with the Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX) wool auction trading program, in order to work with existing trading models. With this partnership, Australian woolgrowers and brokers will be able to register their RWS certified clips and help wool buyers identify RWS wool in the Australian auction system.

At the end of October, the first RWS scope certificate will be granted to Tchibo by Control Union. Despite the fact that RWS certified wool won’t be available until next year, this special certification will enable Tchibo to permanently integrate the ensured material upon availability.