MSA works with Textile Exchange to release a draft Mohair Responsible Standard

09 April 2019

Mohair South Africa is proud to be working with Textile Exchange in developing an international mohair standard. Whilst the industry has been governed by its own Sustainable Guidelines since 2009, the importance of an international standard made this evolution inevitable. It is our aim to provide the global market with the promise of responsible farming and production.

“Mohair South Africa is committed to continuously improve the mohair industry throughout the entire value chain, working alongside all sector stakeholders to provide clear and transparent evidence of an ethical and responsible industry. It was our great pleasure to host Textile Exchange and the visiting brands in South Africa, and we look forward to a fruitful and mutually beneficial partnership in the future.”

– Lindsay Humphreys, General Manager, Mohair South Africa

Objectives of the Responsible Mohair Standard

Over the past decade, Mohair South Africa has focused on promoting a sustainable luxury fibre, efforts which have intensified over the past few months. We are working closely with Textile Exchange (a global non-profit that drives industry transformation in preferred fibres, integrity and standards, and responsible supply networks) to incorporate the existing Sustainable Production Guidelines into the internationally-recognised Responsible Wool Standard protocol. Textile Exchange identifies and shares best practices regarding farming, materials, processing, traceability and product end-of-life in order to reduce the textile industry’s impact on the world’s water, soil and air, and the human population.

The goals of the Responsible Mohair Standard is to provide the industry with a tool to recognise mohair farmers using best practices, ensuring that mohair is produced at farms with a progressive approach to managing their land and a commitment to treating their goats ethically and responsibly.

The RMS development process

Textile Exchange follows the ISEAL Codes of Good Practice for standard-setting bodies to ensure that they have a robust and transparent process for our standards.

Their highest priorities are to include all parties that may be affected by the standard, and to create a tool that balances strict requirements with realistic and auditable criteria. 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, farmers, supply chain members and industry associations, as well as brands and retailers.

Draft Mohair Responsible Standard released for stakeholder consultation

The draft Responsible Mohair Standard is currently being piloted on farms. Findings from pilot audits of the draft Responsible Mohair Standard will be used to inform the development of the draft standard. A public stakeholder consultation on both the Responsible Wool Standard and the draft Responsible Mohair Standard is now open for 30 days. To provide feedback, or to learn more about the development process and how to get involved, please visit www.responsiblewool.org

Exploring the mohair supply chain

As part of the process of developing a standard, Mohair South Africa invited Textile Exchange and brand representatives from Filippa K and member brands Acne and John Lewis on a field trip to learn about the mohair supply chain. The trip explored each stage of the mohair value chain, with a particular focus on visiting farms and meeting with farmers to better understand how animal welfare and land health is managed and how the draft Responsible Mohair Standard could be applied.

“It was very encouraging to see that Mohair South Africa and the farms are working hard towards a responsible mohair standard. Knowing that all the farms have been audited, and that the next step is a third party accreditation, will bring us closer to a sustainable supply chain.” 

– Doreen Chiang, Filippa K

 

“The passion and commitment at every stage of the mohair supply chain, from the farmers and their families through to the people working in the brokers, processing plants and spinners was very clear to see. Meeting the vet who supports farmers in adopting best practices in animal welfare was very impressive and it was invaluable to get his views and input into the draft RMS (Responsible Mohair Standard). John Lewis and Partners works to ensure that the highest standards of animal welfare are achieved and that is why we are proud to be involved with Mohair South Africa and the Textile Exchange in the development of the new RMS (Responsible Mohair Standard).”

– Karen Perry, Partner & Sustainability Manager, Raw Materials, John Lewis

 

We are excited to work with all of you to develop an international Responsible Mohair Standard that will provide the industry with a way of ensuring that the mohair being used is produced in a sustainable and ethical manner.

Kind regards,

The Mohair SA team