Clothing Brands Commit to Responsible Wool Standard
October 7, 2016

Textile Exchange - an autonomous, self-governing organization - has received commitments from various apparel brands to support the Responsible Wool Standard, which is a voluntary global standard that addresses the welfare of sheep and of the land they graze. RWS has been pilot audited, calibrated and applied to wool growing farms of different sizes, geographic regions and countries.

In all, 15 apparel companies have committed to following RWS including H&M, Marks & Spencer, William-Sonoma, Patagonia, Eddie Bauer, REI, Eileen Fisher, Tchibo, Varner, Vaude, Coyuchi, Mountain Equipment, Deckers, Kathmandu and Knowledge Cotton Apparel. Ten additional companies have expressed support of the standard and are working toward implementation, which include, LL Bean, Arc'teryx, Indigenous Designs, Nau, Point6 and Prana.

Proper animal handling is always a priority for sheep growers around the world, as well as for the organizations that represent major wool-producing countries. Those in the industry would be more open to endorsing the Textile Exchange standards if additional cooperative efforts were sought after, increased producer input was pursued and the cost for the producer to participate in the program were more affordable. The assurance that the standards will remain consistent and not be an ever-changing target is also a concern.