Earth Day 2020: WAYB’s Commitment to Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) Certification

If you’ve read about Pico’s wonder material, AstroKnit, you know what makes our performance mesh so special: the wool! When it comes to wool sourcing, it’s important to consider the entire supply chain. That’s why, this Earth Day, WAYB is proud to announce our commitment to ensure our supply chain will become Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) certified by the end of 2020. Read more about this important initiative below! 

What is the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS)?

The RWS is a voluntary, global standard that promotes the welfare of sheep and the land they graze on. It traces the wool source from farm to final product through a robust chain of custody. The movement of raw material is tracked and documented through every stage of production, from the very start of the supply chain up to the end product. It takes coordination, buy-in, and commitment at all levels to attain RWS certification.

Why does the RWS matter? 

Well, it all starts with the very beginning of the process -- the sheep! The ethical treatment of animals is at the core of the RWS certification and that’s what makes it so important to us at WAYB. With RWS, the ‘five freedoms” of sheep are protected at all times: freedom from hunger and thirst, freedom from discomfort, freedom from pain, injury, or disease, freedom to express normal behavior, and freedom from fear and distress. In other words, RWS provides us and our customers with total confidence that the sheep we use for our products are treated as humanely as possible. 

From an environmental standpoint, RWS also ensures that the farms we work with use progressive methods of land management. On RWS Certified farms, farmers must demonstrate that they employ best practices to protect soil health, biodiversity, and native species.

Supporting farmers that produce responsibly sourced wool matters. Not only does it help sustain farms and farmers with the highest standards for animal welfare and land management; it also reinforces our personal and company values. We believe that doing the right thing matters, and we try to uphold that principle in everything we do.

What we’re doing and what’s next for WAYB

WAYB currently sources all its wool from RWS certified suppliers. It’s a great start, but we wanted to take it one step further. To further our commitment to operating a responsible supply chain, WAYB is making a commitment to become RWS certified by the end of 2020.

This means that we’ll be working with all of our suppliers -- from farms and processors, to our manufacturers and distribution center -- to apply for RWS certification in 2020 and commit to the rigorous system of documentation to trace our wool throughout the supply chain. It will take time and effort to achieve this, but our mission is to “never stop raising the bar on innovative products that are better for people and the planet.” This is one small step we’re taking as a company to move further along that path. We hope you’ll follow along with us on the journey!