Wool is a natural, durable and renewable material. It is naturally stain resistant and flame retardant - and it is a great insulator. The many benefits make wool an attractive material choice in IKEA products like rugs, upholstered furniture and wadding in mattresses. There are also environmental benefits to consider. Wool has a smaller carbon footprint than many other textile fibres. This is partly because sheep can be raised on non-arable lands and rough terrains. Further, wool is biodegradable and takes relatively short time to break down. IKEA has a long-term direction to move away from virgin fossil based materials towards more natural and sustainable materials. Wool is a good example of a sustainable material when sourced from farms where sheep are treated with respect and the land they graze on is managed responsibly.
Upholding animal rights is important to IKEA, so when suppliers sign on to work with us, they must follow our requirements on animal welfare as stated in our code of conduct. Further, we are committed to transforming our conventional wool supply chain to 100% Responsibly Sourced Wool by the end of 2025. Meaning all our wool will come from farms certified from animal welfare and land management perspectives and be fully traceable to farm-level. IKEA has started to work with farms in New Zealand who are Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) certified. The RWS is an independent, voluntary standard, which means that companies and producers can choose to become certified. Certifications like this is one way of securing that sheep are treated with respect and also ensuring that best practices are used in regards to the management and protection of the land. With the competence gained in New Zealand - a well-structured country with long standing traditions of sheep farming, we can take our learnings to other wool producing countries.
Being able to trace the wool used in our range back to its origin is key to ensure responsible sourcing and respectable animal welfare for the sheep. Within IKEA, we work to secure the chain of custody by using certified farms as our raw material suppliers. That way the wool we work with is traceable, from final product to the farms. Certified farms are audited annually by an independent certification body, ensuring that demands and standards are being met.
It takes time to build up the right strategic partners across the global supply chain to make an impactful difference. By committing to transforming all our wool to 100% responsibly sourced wool, and telling the process of our journey, we intend to demonstrate how this change can be achieved, raise awareness for responsible wool sourcing and increase the demand.