Textile Exchange seeks feedback on first unified standard draft

Sheep Central, May 17, 2023

Textile Exchange CEO La Rhea Pepper.

GLOBAL fashion, textile, and apparel industry certification body Textile Exchange has released a first draft of its proposed unified standard, consistent with its goal to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fibre and material production.

Textile Exchange began a comprehensive revision of its standards framework in 2021, with the intent to embed itsr Climate+ strategy into a harmonized system across all its current material standards, including the Responsible Wool Standard.

Another objective is to create “stronger communication at the consumer-facing level”. The unified standard is open for public feedback until July 14, 2023.

Textile Exchange has an organizational goal of helping drive a 45 percent reduction in the greenhouse gas emissions that come from fiber and material production by 2030, while driving positive impacts across soil health, water, and biodiversity through its Climate+ strategy.

The unified standard aims to meaningfully embed the Climate+ goal into the raw material scope for all materials included in its certification platforms, Textile Exchange said.

Textile Exchange said the main impact areas of the unified standard system focus on Tier 4 raw material management (including the cultivation and extraction of raw materials from the earth, plants or animals), and “Tier 3.5” first processing (including processes such as ginning, retting, degumming, cottonizing, wool scouring, dissolving pulp, and chemical / mechanical recycling).

To provide highlights on key material categories included in the future standard system, Textile Exchange has developed a series of summary papers to supplement the draft standard criteria, including for animal-derived fibres such as wool, mohair, alpaca, yak, cashmere and down. Click here to read the Animal Materials summary paper, which includes a basic RWS stipulation that “sheep are not mulesed, freeze mulesed or have any other form of breech modification.”

One Australian wool grower had not noticed any changes to the current RWS, but said the unified standard draft and Animal Materials summary paper is difficult to review because they did not illustrate or itemise any changes proposed.

“The devil is in the detail, I’m sure.”

However, the grower noticed one clause that said: ‘Birthing is supervised and timely action taken while keeping disturbances to a minimum.”

“They must think we lamb in sheds or sleep in paddocks….they would like us to be nomadic shepherds,” the grower said.

Textile Exchange said it wanted to ensure that its standard system included input from all impacted and interested stakeholder groups. To support the development effort, it is requesting feedback from the public on its unified standard draft V1.1.

Download the Unified Standard Draft V1.1 (Excel) →
Download the Unified Standard Draft V1.1 (PDF) →

Feedback can be submitted on an ongoing basis using either of these options below:

  1. Online via this form where you can submit your comments as you review the standard.
  2. Offline by downloading the standard in Excel and emailing it back to [email protected].

Any questions can be sent to Textile Exchange via email.


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