“Responsible Wool Standard” - A Textile Exchange certificate

Who is behind it?
RWS is developed by Textile Exchange, a global non-profit organization, that works closely with all sectors of the textile supply network. Textile Exchange identifies and shares best practices regarding farming, materials, processing, traceability, and product end-of-life in order to create positive impacts on water, soil, air, animals, and the human population created around the world by the textile industry. Members include 210 companies and organizations from more than 25 countries.

What is it?
The Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) is an industry tool designed 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. Stakeholders from the natural fibre industry, consumers, producers, growers and scientists came together in Australia to develop the RWS standards. The underlying purpose of RMS is to serve as a guideline for farmers on three areas namely Animal Welfare, Land Management, Social Responsibility.
As one of the foremost global wool standards, RWS has gained widespread support in the textile and apparel industry.

What is the goal?
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 that have a progressive approach to managing their land, practice holistic respect for animal welfare of the sheep and respect the Five Freedoms of animal welfare.
The five freedoms: 

1. Freedom from hunger and thirst
2. Freedom from discomfort
3. Freedom from pain, injury and disease
4. Freedom to express normal behaviour
5. Freedom from fear and distress 

On the website there is a step by step guide for brands who want to get certified or look for certified business partners within the supply chain.

Which brands use it?
H&M, Marks & Spencer, William-Sonoma, Patagonia, Eddie Bauer, REI, Eileen Fisher, Tchibo, Varner, Vaude, Coyuchi, Mountain Equipment, Deckers, Kathmandu and Knowledge Cotton Apparel.