The Responsible Wool Standard aims to improve the welfare of sheep and the land they graze on.

The Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) requires all sites, from wool farmers to the seller in the final business-to-business transaction, to be certified. RWS farmers and ranchers must meet animal welfare, land management, and social requirements.

GOALS

We’re pressing for a progressive approach to animal and environmental welfare.

  • Give the industry a tool to recognize farming best practices.
  • Make sure that wool comes from farms that take a progressive approach to land management and respect animal welfare.
  • Ensure strong chain of custody for certified materials as they move along the supply chain.
Merino sheep grazing.
HOW IT WORKS

Ensuring responsible wool from sheep to store

The Five Freedoms of animal welfare are protected with reference to standards and best practices around the world.

Progressive methods of land management are practiced on RWS farms, protecting soil health, biodiversity, and native species.

Social welfare, working conditions, and the health and safety of workers are addressed.

Certification makes sure the identity of the RWS wool is maintained from farm to final product.

A professional, third-party certification body audits each stage in the supply chain.

Only products that meet all requirements may be labeled with the RWS logo.

The RWS is managed with the input of farmers, animal welfare experts, land conservation experts, brands, and retailers from all parts of the globe.

Resources

Dive deeper into the RWS

DEVELOPMENT

Catch up on revisions and changes

In 2019, we began revisions for RWS 2.0, and the updated standard was released on March 17, 2020. For a summary of the comments received during the Public Stakeholder Review period, you can take a look at the RWS 2.0 Consultation Feedback Summary. The next revision will be part of our wider move towards a single unified standard.

man processing sheared wool.
GET INVOLVED

Take the next steps in your certification journey

Start sourcing certified wool or get certified yourself.

Use our standards to offer products that contain certified wool.

Start the certification process to our Responsible Wool Standard.

Consult our directory to find suppliers or confirm whether a company is certified to the RWS.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question not answered here, get in touch with us directly, and we’ll be happy to answer it for you.

Are Textile Exchange standards recognized globally?

Yes, all our standards apply globally. You can use our logos worldwide as long as you meet the requirements for logo use and claims.

Do you have translations of your standards available in other languages?

Visit the Document Library to see all standards documents. For some, translations are available.

Can I use your standards to know the identity of a sheep farm?

Our standards aren’t designed to provide full supply chain transparency. If you’re interested in doing the work of identifying all of sites, then you need to work directly with your suppliers and request that they disclose their sources to you. We are working on the development of a traceability system, however. You can learn more here.