As consumers become more aware of where their wool comes from, brands and retailers need to ensure their wool suppliers use ethical and sustainable sourcing practices. The Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) is a voluntary program that helps sheep farmers meet consumer, retailer, and brand demands. The standard certifies they meet rigorous animal welfare and land management requirements.
As an independent, voluntary standard, companies can choose to become certified to the RWS. On farms, the certification ensures that sheep are treated with respect to their Five Freedoms1 and also ensures best practices in the management and protection of the land. The standard is globally applicable to all breeds of sheep, and mulesing is strictly prohibited.
The goals of the Responsible Wool Standard are to provide the industry with a tool to recognize the best practices of farmers; ensuring that wool comes from farms with a progressive approach to managing their land, and from sheep that have been treated responsibly.
- Ensure that wool does not come from animals that have been subjected to any unnecessary harm.
- Reward and influence the wool industry for strong animal welfare and land management practices.
- Provide robust chain of custody from farm to final product.
Create an industry benchmark to drive improvements in animal care and land management where needed.