It’s official! IWTO is pleased to announced that we have made our commitment to The Sustainability Pledge from UNECE.  The UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) launched this pledge to improve sustainable and ethical practices in the garment and footwear sector and support the transition to a less wasteful and more circular economy.

Improving traceability has become a priority for the garment and footwear industry, says the UNECE. Traceability requires all partners to collaborate, to use common approaches, and reliable technical solutions in different environments.

Partnering with AWEX, AWI, BKB, Cape Wools, Segard Masurel, Südwolle Group, and Wool Producers Australia, IWTO’s pledge targets traceable, sustainable wool production. Find our pledge on the UNECE website here.

The wool industry: a sustainable ecosystem

The aim of IWTO’s Pledge is to promote a sustainable wool industry through increasing the amount of certified traceable wool. This means ensuring a profitable industry that takes care of the environment, animals, and also the people involved. Altogether, this creates a sustainable wool ecosystem.

In many countries, wool is grown by small-scale farmers. Improving sustainability for small farms has a very real effect on reducing poverty, hunger, and promoting good health and well-being.

Moreover, growers who manage the farms where wool is grown in a sustainable and responsible manner have a net positive impact on ensuring clean water, decent work and economic growth, life on land and climate action.

Beyond the growers, this Pledge involves wool processors and in many cases, brands and retailers. Contriibuting to more responsible consumption and production is a key part of the Pledge.

Milestone: a standard for sustainability assurance

One of the key milestones for the IWTO’s pledge will be to simplify the systems that back up sustainability claims for wool.  This will make it easier for wool processors to use wool from different sources and maintain sustainability and traceability.

Eventually too, it will make it easier for people to recognise and make sustainable choices around clothing and textiles.

In order to achieve this milestone, IWTO created a working group to understand the alignment between the main sustainable accreditation schemes being used in the industry. The working group then aims to draft a standard for the recognition of  sustainability accreditation schemes.  Seven industry sustainability schemes are partnering in the ongoing alignment process: Abelusi Wool, Authentico, Cape Wools Sustainability Standard, Nativa, Responsible Wool Standard, Sustainawool and ZQ.

In addition, measures for assessing regenerative farming practices exist and new ones are being developed. Requirements for assessing regenerative practices will be addressed in this standard.

Read Next: An Introduction to Wool in School

A commitment to transparency

Ultimately, the commitment to promote traceable wool production is a commitment to transparency in the wool textile supply chain. With this pledge, IWTO expects to see growth in the percentage of wool being certified traceable at farm level. Learn more about wool sustainability on

Learn All You Need to Know About the International Wool Industry

For more information on the wool industry around the world, take a look at our fact sheets, statistics and guidelines.