Textile Exchange Animal Welfare Standards: Our Position on Alpaca

In response to a need from the industry, Textile Exchange has begun work on the Responsible Alpaca Standard, in order to verify and identify alpaca fiber produced in farming systems that respect animal welfare and the environment. The standard applies a strong assurance system to perform regular audits of the farms and to track the material from the farm to the final product.

The draft Responsible Alpaca Standard is aligned with the existing Responsible Wool Standard and the Responsible Mohair Standard. It is structured around the Textile Exchange Animal Welfare Framework, which sets out the principles and expectations that guide and connect Textile Exchange’s Animal Welfare Standards.

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 animals that have been treated responsibly and that land and biodiversity has been managed appropriately. The standard will also address social welfare at the farm.

Through production, chain of custody certification ensures that the fiber from certified farms is properly identified and tracked.

Textile Exchange follows the ISEAL Codes of Good Practice for standard-setting bodies to ensure we have robust and transparent processes for our standards. The development of the standard will be done through an International Working Group, representing the full spectrum of interested parties, including animal welfare groups, brands, retailers, farmers, supply chain members, and industry associations.

The draft Responsible Alpaca Standard is ready to pilot on farms. Findings from the pilot audits will help further develop and finalize the standard. Interested stakeholders are invited to join the International Working Group to provide feedback during the development process. For more information, contact responsiblewool@textileexchange.org

“Textile Exchange has built a strong system in place to protect animal welfare in the textile and apparel industry through our existing Responsible Wool Standard and Responsible Mohair Standard. We are proud to add alpaca to this family of standards. The industry has a responsibility for ensuring strong animal welfare throughout their supply chains and we believe that standards are an effective way to show unified demand. We are grateful for the contribution of Gap Inc. and H&M for making this work possible and look forward to seeing the positive results of this work,” Ashley Gill, Director of Standards at Textile Exchange.

A message from The Gap on Animal Welfare and Responsible Alpaca Standard

“At Gap Inc., we are committed to continuous improvement and due diligence in our supply chain to uphold our Animal Welfare Policy and to keep moving our industry in a more positive direction. We are proud to support Textile Exchange in launching the Responsible Alpaca Standard. In partnership with key stakeholders in Peru and around the world, this standard aims to help ensure and protect the welfare Alpacas in their natural environment in the Andes, while continuing to support the livelihoods of local communities in Peru.” – Una Hrnjak-Hadziahmetovic, Senior Manager, Global Sustainability at Gap Inc.