First RWS products hit the market: Textile Exchange

The first Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) certified products have hit the market while more will make their way to shelves very soon as the commitment to the RWS from across the textile industry grows, according to Textile Exchange. The RWS is a voluntary global standard that addresses the welfare of sheep and of the land on which they graze.



Since its release in June 2016, adoption of the standard has been steadily increasing across key wool growing and processing countries. There are now RWS certified farms in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the United States, Argentina and Uruguay, as well as certified manufacturers across the world.
The RWS certified garments that are now available reflect the global reach of the RWS. H&M Group has made a commitment to only using RWS or recycled wool in all of its products by the end of 2022. Its first RWS certified products have been launched in September 2018 in Arket stores featuring wool from Uruguay and Australia.

“Wool is central to our assortment as it is both beautiful and durable. We are therefore very excited to introduce the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) in our A/W 2018 collections with garments and accessories made with certified merino and raw wool. This is a way for Arket to contribute to a more traceable and responsible supply chain both for the animals and their environment,” Karin Brinck, sustainability manager, Arket, said.

Eileen Fisher recently released its first RWS certified garments made of wool from New Zealand and Argentina.

Founder Eileen Fisher shared, “I believe that the only way we’ll have a more responsible industry is if we help lead the change. That means engaging with partners who share our values - other brands, our suppliers and our customers. And that’s how we approached responsible wool: by partnering with Textile Exchange and the right farms.”

Marks & Spencer (M&S) has also launched its first products made from RWS certified wool in menswear. The wool is traceable back to a network of Wools of New Zealand farms where it was grown, including Palliser Ridge.

“Palliser Ridge is totally committed to best practice. We are receptive to adopting any new initiative that is market driven to lift standards of animal welfare, farm management and the environment. RWS simply recognises the efforts that we put into our land and by farming our animals in the most ethical way,” Kurt Portas, Palliser Ridge, said.

Phil Townsend, raw materials specialist at Marks & Spencer, said. “We’re proud to be one of the first retailers to launch an RWS certified items and to have played a significant role in its development with Textile Exchange and other committed partners. This is an important milestone as part of our ongoing Plan A commitment to be more transparent about our suppliers and ensure our raw materials come from more sustainable sources, which respect people, communities, the planet and animal welfare.”

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