Flock to Shop:
Delivering responsible and sustainable wool
The demand for apparel wool products by retailers and consumers is increasingly being driven by a focus on responsible, sustainable and ethical production systems.
For wool, competing in the global marketplace, the need to effectively respond to this consumer-led demand will become ever more urgent. Turnstone Projects sought to develop a concept, Flock to Shop, that would enable this. Flock to Shop is an integrated voluntary standard that gives retailers certainty that the wool used in their merchandise is grown and processed using sustainable and ethical practices. It offers reliability, consistency and traceability at each stage of the wool production cycle by building on existing technical, testing and verification standards and incorporating a comprehensive social and environmental certification system.
Flock to Shop would give retailers and consumers certainty that the wool has been continuously and consistently managed in a sustainable and responsible way throughout the entire production chain. The concept would benefit those who grow, trade, process, manufacture and retail wool and those whose livelihoods depend on a viable and sustainable wool industry. Interest in the concept has been well received in Australia from those within and outside the wool industry. with its head office in Geneva, is an organisation committed to transforming supply chains with responsible sourcing and processes and is willing to partner with those retailers and others in the supply chain interested in making real and lasting change.
Flock to Shop will:
- be developed in collaboration with all in the industry from growers to retailers
- be developed in a staged and inclusive way, addressing the priority issues for retailers
- be integrated, inclusive and internationally consistent and as relevant to on farm as to manufacturing
- be inclusive of existing technical and product specifications, testing and verification systems
- include measures for traceability across all stages of the industry
- develop and implement an internationally recognised and robust certification system
- implement a training system to support and enable all sectors of the industry to engage and adapt to the standard to achieve certification over time.
Why Turnstone Projects & Wool?
While the company has always worked on projects in rural and regional Australia, this project returns to the first working connection of its director, Rebecca Iliffe. Rebecca gained her qualification as a professional woolclasser 20 years ago and worked with shearing teams from Cunnamulla to Camperdown in Australia’s eastern states. She studied later stage processing techniques with research organisations and mills, including Zegna in Italy. She built on these experiences both in Australia and overseas during her time with the International Wool Secretariat as a technical adviser to countries buying Australian wool. Her academic qualifications, including post graduate study, have deepened her knowledge of the wool industry in the global marketplace.