First batch of GOTS certified organic, RWS and carbon-neutral wool now available
As spring arrives in Patagonia, the first wool bales of the season find their way from our Fuhrmann managed farms to our mill in Trelew. This year around we were especially excited to scour and comb these particular wool clips as they become the first very special batch of its kind: Our unique ethical wool which consists of GOTS certified Organic, RWS certified and Carbon Neutral wool tops.
What makes these new wool tops special is the combination of three different certification processes which enable us to ensure the highest sustainability standards in the areas of biodiversity, combating desertification, use of non-hazardous chemicals, animal welfare and carbon emissions. These wool tops tick more boxes of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals than any other worldwide.
GOTS certified organic wool
The organic certification consists of two parts – on-farm and mill certification. All of our 13 Fuhrmann managed farms are organic certified or in the process of becoming organic. The certification is based on the SENASA organic protocol which we started implementing in 2004. We believe very strongly in organic farming methods. Whenever the Fuhrmann team takes on a new farm under its management, we immediately implement all measures in order to turn it into an organically managed farm. The process of becoming organic takes up to three years. The organic standard ensures that biodiversity is maintained on the farms, desertification of land reversed as well as avoiding the use of hazardous chemicals.
The organic wool then of course also needs to be processed under the GOTS organic standards in order to become organic wool top. The Fuhrmann top making facility in Trelew has been GOTS certified already since 2008. All our production lines work under the GOTS standard as we believe in the use of non-hazardous environmentally friendly chemicals. The GOTS certification helps us achieve this.
Responsible Wool Standard
In 2018, all Fuhrmann managed farms successfully completed the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) certification process. RWS is a relatively new standard created by the NGO Textile Exchange based in the US. This standard focuses on animal welfare and land management. RWS is an ideal addition to the organic standard as the two standards complement each other. The RWS certification helps the farm managers to measure animal welfare and constantly raise the bar for further improvements to ensure our sheep receive the best care, health and welfare.
Carbon Neutral Wool
Despite all the efforts in the area of land management, animal welfare and eco-friendly processing, our activities still create a carbon footprint. Even though every human activity emits carbon into the atmosphere, we have set ourselves the goal to reduce our carbon footprint throughout our supply chain and in addition to offset the emissions which cannot be avoided.
In order for our wool production to become carbon neutral, we conducted a Life Cycle Assessment to measure our carbon impact. This enables us to identify the areas where we can improve and also gives us an idea of how many emissions we need to offset in order to be carbon neutral. We offset our carbon footprint by investing in a carbon-neutral project in Uruguay through our partner Numerco. In the long term, our goal is to develop our own carbon offsetting projects.
There are many wool growers and top makers around the world who are doing many similar initiatives in the area of organic, animal welfare or carbon. However, at Fuhrmann, we are in the unique position to offer a very unique ethical wool in form of a combination of all best practices combined. Managing the wool supply chain from farm to wool top enables us to innovate and implement all measures necessary to meet the standards and offer to our clients GOTS certified organic, RWS and carbon-neutral wool.
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