At Patagonia, we work hard to develop materials that meet our quality standards, and, when it comes to products sourced from animals, ones that prioritize the humane treatment of animals and restoring the health of the land. To that end, we developed a strict supplier evaluation process based on the following pillars:
- Animal Welfare: Our baseline requirement for wool suppliers is certification to the Responsible Wool Standard(RWS). Without this step, a farmer cannot be considered approved. As of Fall 2018, all of the wool in our products is RWS certified, from farm to finished product.
- Responsible Land Management: Our approach includes the RWS’s strong land management requirements, which Patagonia played a lead role in developing based on our previous experiences with regenerative grazing practices. These requirements pertain both to grasslands and other biotic communities where sheep may be raised, including biodiversity protection, soil management and pesticide and fertilizer use.
- Quality: Quality has always been and will continue to be a major pillar in our requirements for any material sourcing, including wool.
Moreover, we created the Patagonia Wool Standard (PWS) with above and beyond requirements that are the North Star for our preferred suppliers. You can view the Patagonia Wool Standard by clicking here.
We are proud of what we have accomplished so far with our current partners; knowing that our requirements have challenged farmers to change century-old traditional wool ranching practices. This takes time, commitment and careful planning for sustainable improvement. We will continue to partner closely with our current suppliers, and to seek new ones who want to join us on this journey. For more information on our wool efforts please click here.