Responsible Wool Standard

A global benchmark for animal welfare and land management in wool farming. Ensures ethical and sustainable practices.

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Responsible Wool Standard



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The Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) is a certification that ensures the welfare of sheep and the sustainable management of land. It is an important certification for the textile industry, as it provides assurance to consumers that the wool used in their products has been sourced responsibly.


The RWS was established in 2016 by Textile Exchange, a global nonprofit organization. It was created in response to growing concerns about animal welfare and environmental sustainability in the wool industry. Since its establishment, the RWS has gained recognition and support from various stakeholders, including brands, retailers, and NGOs.

Purpose and Scope

The RWS certifies that wool comes from farms that meet strict animal welfare and land management requirements. It ensures that sheep are treated humanely, with access to clean water, food, and shelter. Additionally, the RWS promotes sustainable land management practices, such as responsible grazing and biodiversity conservation. This certification is relevant to the textile and fashion industries, as well as to consumers who value ethical and sustainable products.

Certification Process

To acquire the RWS certification, farms must undergo an audit conducted by an independent third-party certification body. The audit assesses compliance with the RWS requirements, including animal welfare and land management practices. Farms must also maintain detailed records and provide traceability of their wool throughout the supply chain. There are no specific prerequisites for farms to begin the certification process.

Duration and Renewal

Once granted, the RWS certification is valid for one year. To maintain the certification, farms must undergo annual audits to ensure ongoing compliance with the RWS requirements. This renewal process helps to ensure that farms continue to meet the high standards set by the certification.

Impact and Significance

Obtaining the RWS certification has several benefits. For organizations, it demonstrates their commitment to responsible sourcing and sustainability. It also helps to build trust with customers and stakeholders who are increasingly concerned about the welfare of animals and the environment. For consumers, the RWS certification provides assurance that the wool used in their products has been sourced responsibly, allowing them to make more informed purchasing decisions. Overall, the RWS certification plays a significant role in promoting ethical and sustainable practices in the wool industry.

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