“Responsible Mohair Standard” - A Textile Exchange certificate
The Responsible Mohair Standard is a voluntary standard that addresses the welfare of goats and the land they graze on. This standard is one of the latest certificates released and was launched in March 2020. It is closely aligned to the Responsible Wool Standard and both of these are structured around the Textile Exchange Animal Welfare Framework, which sets out the principles and expectations that guides and connects the Textile Exchange’s animal welfare standards. It aims to a holistic practise in regards to the Five Freedoms in animal welfare.
The five freedoms are:
- Freedom from hunger and thirst
- Freedom from discomfort
- Freedom from pain, injury and disease
- Freedom to express normal behaviour
- Freedom from fear and distress
RMS is developed by Textile Exchange, a global non-profit organization, that works closely with all sectors of the textile supply network. Textile Exchange identifies and shares best practices regarding farming, materials, processing, traceability, and product end-of-life in order to create positive impacts on water, soil, air, animals, and the human population created around the world by the textile industry. Members include 210 companies and organizations from more than 25 countries.
The goal is to help everyone identify room for improvement on their farms and in their business. It also helps to provide farmers some peace of mind as to where they are in utilizing the standard and reassures them of areas where they excel. The Responsible Wool Standard which the Mohair standard is aligned to has been adopted strongly across the supply chain, with certified farms in all key wool producing countries. The revision covers updates and clarifications to the animal welfare and land management modules, including the introduction of additional requirements and guidance around biodiversity. It also introduces a set of social welfare requirements.
To ensure the sustainability of the industry, benchmarks have been set down against, to which the farm is measured. To further ensure sustainability, an independent audit is conducted on the farm by a third party. RMS requires the grower (farmer) to record day-to-day activities of what is being done on the farm.
The RMS requires all sites to be certified, beginning with the mohair farmers and through to the seller in the final business to business transaction. Usually the last stage to be certified is the garment manufacturer or brand. Retailers (business-to-consumers) are not required to be certified. Farms are certified to the Animal Welfare and Land Management and Social Modules of the RMS.