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Responsible Wool Standard released

June 22, 2016

The Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) has been finalized and is available for certification. The Standard is a global benchmark for animal welfare and land management practices in sheep farming.

The goals of the standard are to provide the industry with the best possible tool to:
• Recognize 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.
• Build communication and understanding between farmers, consumers and brands.
• Provide a robust chain of custody system from farm to final product to ensure consumer confidence in RWS products.

Developed through an International Working Group (IWG) in an open, multi-stakeholder process, the Standard provides the industry with a tool to ensure sheep are raised with respect to their Five Freedoms, prohibits mulesing, and includes strict guidelines on other practices such as tail docking, shearing, and on-farm slaughter. Farms will be required to have strict management practices in place for the protection of land used for raising sheep.

Textile Exchange is hosting several events in the upcoming months to help companies on their path to implementing the standard in their product lines.

More information is available on the  RWS webpage at http://responsiblewool.org