Responsible Alpaca Standard (RAS)

Responsible Alpaca Standard

Introduction

Textile Exchange is committed to building credible, internationally recognized standards that include assurance and monitoring and evaluations systems. As a member of ISEAL, Textile Exchange follows three Codes of Good Practice in addition to its own procedures for Standard SettingAccreditation and Certification.

In March 2020, Textile Exchange launched the comprehensive development of the Responsible Alpaca Standard (RAS) 1.0. The RAS will follow the Responsible Animal Fiber (RAF) Framework and abide by the same principals and foundations. The RAS joins the family of RAF standards with the Responsible Wool Standard and Responsible Mohair Standard. Requirements will be specifically adapted to meet the needs of the alpaca species.

In May 2020, the Standards team hosted an introductory webinar offering an overview of all things alpaca. This webinar covered the land impact of the species, fiber characteristics, supply chain, geography, and introduce the development of our new Responsible Alpaca Standard. You can view a recording of the webinar here

Goals and Objectives

Alpaca farming has a high animal welfare potential due to a husbandry system based on extensive grazing and free ranging with animals adapted to their environment. The Responsible Alpaca Standard will be developed to ensure that this high welfare potential is realized and to provide a mechanism to verify that alpaca fiber comes from responsible sources.

Scope

The standard will address farm-level animal welfare practices as well as land management and social welfare at the farm. Through production, chain of custody certification ensures that the fiber from certified farms is properly identified and tracked.

Timeline

The RAF was announced in March 2020 in response to industry demand. In April 2020, Textile Exchange began to draft the RAS and is anticipating releasing the standard in early 2021, following a multi-stakeholder review process.

Decision-Making Process

Textile Exchange will work with animal welfare experts to adapt the current RAF specifically to the alpaca specie’s needs. We will be creating a Draft RAS 1.0 that will go through a stakeholder review and also be released for public comment at a later time. Textile Exchange’s Integrity Team, in close collaboration with the International Working Group, will have the authority to approve the final version of the Standard.

How to Participate

Textile Exchange’s Integrity Team is leading this revision process in close collaboration with the International Working Group (IWG). The public will have multiple opportunities to provide feedback throughout the revision process through participation in the International Working Group, and the final draft consultation.

At this time, Textile Exchange is seeking people to join the IWG. Participation in this group will help to inform our revision of the Draft RAS.

You can join the IWG by emailing ResponsibleWool@TextileExchange.org

You can also be kept up to date with communications and information surrounding the development of the RAS by becoming a stakeholder. Email ResponsibleWool@TextileExchange.org to become a stakeholder.

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