Sustainable Apparel Coalition CEO Transition Announced

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Photo of Amina Razvi on stage at the 2023 Annual Meeting
November 15, 2023

San Francisco, Amsterdam, Hong Kong – November 15, 2023: Today, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) announced its CEO, Amina Razvi, will leave the organization as of December 29, 2023. As the organization enters a new phase of growth and expansion to adjacent product categories, she and the Board of Directors have mutually agreed the time is right for her to step away and for the Board to identify a successor. Razvi worked with the Board to lead the organization through significant growth and development of key strategic partnerships during her tenure, including but not limited to:

  • A new strategic plan in 2021, refocused in 2023 to prioritize sustainable impact at scale, providing clear direction for the SAC.
  • The doubling of SAC’s membership since 2019, exceeding 300 organizations, strengthening our collective influence for industry transformation.
  • The further evolution of the suite of Higg Index tools with over 24,000 organizations adopting the tools, facilitating standardized sustainability reporting worldwide.
  • A threefold increase in the SAC’s global team since 2019, bolstering its capacity, expertise and global presence to deliver on the SAC’s mission.
  • Successfully managing the Worldly spin-off in 2019 and overseeing plans for the Social & Labor Convergence Program spin-off in January 2024, creating a more robust ecosystem of partners and positioning the SAC as an agile, adaptable organization.
  • Establishing key strategic partnerships with organizations like Apparel Impact Institute, Textile Exchange, ZDHC Foundation, Worldly, The Industry We Want, and Global Fashion Agenda, driving deepened collaborative efforts to address industry challenges that are too big to solve alone.

Over the past decade, Razvi’s tireless commitment played a pivotal role in the SAC’s significant achievements and positive impact that it has had on the apparel industry, and the SAC Board and staff are grateful for her guidance. Through the end of December, Razvi will continue to work with the Board and the global team to support a smooth transition. During the transition, the SAC Executive Team will oversee day-to-day operations and key strategic initiatives, providing stability and guidance and ensuring that the organization’s ongoing commitments are maintained.

In addition, a dedicated Transition Taskforce will be overseen by Tamar Hoek, Chair of the SAC Board and Senior Policy Director of Sustainable Fashion at Solidaridad. There will be no changes to the organization’s mission, values, or direction, and members and partners – as well as the SAC’s global team – will be engaged at every step of the transition, reflecting the spirit of transparency that is an organizational hallmark. Finally, no staffing, Board, or leadership changes are anticipated as a result of this development.

Amina Razvi, outgoing CEO of the SAC, said:

“When I joined the SAC eight years ago, it was because I saw an incredible opportunity to drive positive industry transformation at scale. From the very beginning, it was clear what this organization and community were capable of, working as a catalyst for industry collaboration. In that time, we’ve come a long way together: We’ve doubled our membership, launched a new strategic plan and forged key partnerships, tripled the size of the SAC team, increased adoption of the Higg Index across the value chain, and achieved so much more.

“Partnership and community has been at the heart of our success. I wholeheartedly  believe that partnership is the new leadership, and together, we’ve demonstrated what’s possible. I’m extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished together.

“But reflection is paramount, and as I step down from my role as CEO, I am excited about what lies ahead. The journey doesn’t end here; there are new opportunities and challenges on the horizon, and, while I will take some time to recharge and spend more time with my family, I’m eager to continue working on the issues I’m deeply passionate about. I look forward to the next opportunity to drive meaningful change, and positively impact people and the planet.”

Tamar Hoek, Senior Policy Director Sustainable Fashion, Solidaridad, and Chair of the SAC Board, said:

“The entire Board and I wish to express our gratitude to Amina for her contributions over the past eight years. As we bid her farewell, we take a moment to reflect on her outstanding achievements and those of her dedicated team. Their collective efforts have positioned the SAC for an exciting next chapter in its evolution.

“During her tenure, Amina played a pivotal role in uniting the industry and strategic partners, paving the way for a more sustainable and responsible future. Her accomplishments include the development of the SAC’s updated strategic plan, the establishment of new membership requirements, remarkable growth in both membership and the SAC team, and a host of other achievements. With great enthusiasm, we commend her dedication and the strong foundation she has laid, which will enable the SAC to expand its influence across the consumer goods industry.”

 

– ENDS – 

About the Sustainable Apparel Coalition:

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) is a global, non-profit alliance of over 300 organizations in the apparel, footwear, and textile industry. Initially formed to create standardized sustainability metrics, the SAC has sharpened its focus to driving pre-competitive, collective action across three foundational pillars. As an independent entity, the SAC brings together brands, retailers, manufacturers, NGOs, academics, and industry associations to combat climate change, ensure decent work, and contribute to a nature-positive future. Central to the SAC’s mission is the Higg Index, a suite of comprehensive tools that empower members to measure, evaluate, and improve sustainability performance across the supply chain.

LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | YouTubeToday, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) announced its CEO, Amina Razvi, will leave the organization as of December 29, 2023.

Sustainable Apparel Coalition Moderates Leadership Panel at WWD Apparel and Retail CEO Summit

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Photo of three people seated on stage with the WWD logo above them
November 07, 2023

At WWD’s star-studded Apparel and Retail CEO Summit, the SAC’s new editorial director Kaley Roshitsh stepped into the role by moderating a discussion on balancing ethics with metrics in sustainability leadership. The “What Makes a Responsible (And Profitable) Brand,” panel included Amy Williams, CEO of Citizens of Humanity Group, and Stefano Canali, CEO of Canali. Each discussed their company’s approach to furthering sustainability while remaining committed to on-the-ground suppliers.

Williams detailed Citizens of Humanity Group’s commitment to regenerative agriculture — explaining how cotton transcends commodity to become a proving ground for the value of collaboration in advancing the fashion industry’s sustainability goals. The California-based company recently became involved in the “Kiss the Ground” documentary and partnered with the Erewhon grocery chain.

Canali shared his eponymous company’s metrics-first approach to business growth, which has been centrall to its nearly 90-year history. The Italian menswear brand is invested in a longstanding history of craftsmanship, and Canali considers durability as a testament to its values. The brand also embraces a progressive approach to measuring sustainability, which is demonstrated by Canali Care, which acts as an avenue for data-driven advancements. Over the past two years, Canali invested in life cycle assessments, beginning with a focus on product environmental footprint, and found that raw materials represent two-thirds of the company’s carbon footprint; it is working to decarbonize its supply chain and has committed to near-term targets with the Science Based Targets initiatives.

Roshitsh also attended the day-one closing ceremony, where presenter Jennifer Lawrence was among the A-list attendees and awards were given to Dior creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri, Macy’s Inc. CEO Jeff Gennette, and the Chloé brand.

Andrew Martin Calls on Academic Community to Be Active Influencers in Driving Change Across the Industry

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Photo of Andrew Martin speaking at a podium
August 22, 2023

SAC Executive Vice President Andrew Martin recently gave a keynote speech at the 92nd Textile Institute World Conference (TIWC) 2023, which took place in Queensgate, Huddersfield at the University of Huddersfield on July 3-6, 2023.

 

Speaking on the topic titled, Vigilance and influence: The role of academia in transforming industry, Martin took to the stage to share specific challenges currently facing the industry in achieving effective and rapid change, which members of the academic community and professional experts have a great opportunity and important role in addressing.

 

Martin opened his keynote by giving a brief history of the SAC, including the challenges the industry faced while working in silos and the inspiring idea from two unlikely companies that brought the sector together around a universal approach to measuring sustainability performance. Launched as the Higg Index suite of tools, this approach set the industry on a collaborative path towards driving collective action. Reflecting on the progress achieved including in areas such as collaborating with data, insights, capacity building, and more, Martin noted there were still obstacles the industry was facing, which also presented an opportunity for motivating even deeper collaboration.

 

Martin highlighted persistent challenges in the increase of reports, campaigns, and media stories, based on poor science and unsubstantiated research, which sometimes lack transparency regarding funding or authorship. He explained that this often results in the creation of sustainability and circularity narratives that are not always scientifically sound and do not truly reflect the complexities and nuances of sustainability and circularity, while also lacking the integrity and accuracy critical to drive credible actions.

 

Acknowledging genuine efforts by stakeholders to contribute to and accelerate change in order to build a sustainable future for the industry and the world, Martin highlighted the risks of employing narratives that create division, pit industry players against each other, and influence civil society, stakeholders, policymakers, and consumers with flawed information.

 

As an example, Martin highlighted the challenges we face with oversimplification, leading to binary messaging – i.e. “this thing is good and this thing is bad” – and the threat that this poses to slowing or even halting the urgently-needed holistic progress needed across the whole industry.

 

“The world has reached a critical point in the climate crisis,” Martin said. He then shared three key areas in which we believe the academic community could contribute to solutions with the nuance and clarity that’s necessary to achieve effective progress: materials, policy, and processes, which ensure that rigor, transparency and credibility are upheld. He challenged academics to come together and collaborate on the development of a framework to help expose and eliminate flawed,  counter-productive narratives in reports, campaigns, and the media. Finally, he called upon them to leverage their voice and expertise to become active influencers, calling out bad science, spotlighting the more nuanced work, and providing the insights needed to drive positive action.

 

“We can’t go on relying on shallow soundbites,” Martin said. “We need your knowledge, experience and credibility to drive the change we all want and need to see.” He completed his keynote speech with a clear call to action: Members of the academic community and experts should get involved and to share their knowledge, experience, and credibility to help drive collective change, support collaboration, and ultimately deliver real progress for a better future.

 

Read more in Andrew’s opinion piece in environment journal.

Episode 1: Scale Your Business and Impact

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How can you scale your purpose-driven business and drive greater impact? In this episode we tackle these questions with NY Times best-selling author, and CEO of We First, Simon Mainwaring. We also explore how to effectively communicate your sustainability story and Simon’s latest book, Lead With We.

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Lee Green
January 31, 2023