Cascale Highlights Importance of Collaboration at ZDHC Impact Day

  • Partnership and Collaboration
Split photo of Andrew Martin and Colin Browne each speaking on a stage
July 02, 2024

Colin Browne, chief executive officer of Cascale, and Andrew Martin, executive vice president, joined industry leaders and sustainability experts at ZDHC Impact Day in Amsterdam.

The Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Foundation hosted the event. The NGO aims to lead the fashion industry in preventing hazardous chemicals from being used in fashion production. Building on its theme, “Chemistry in Fashion: Transforming Business,” the event focused on driving positive change in the fashion industry.

Frank Michel, CEO of ZDHC, began the day with a welcome that stressed the importance of emerging legislation. “We need to address policymakers [to] create meaningful regulation,” he said. “NGOs [should develop] mindful campaigns that allow for real systemic change.” Michel then invited Francesco Pianca, board chair at ZDHC, to share opening remarks. Pianca stressed the importance of regulation to move the industry forward. ”There is a waterfall of acronyms that relate to regulation,” he said. “Whether it is ESPR, EPR, CS3D, CSRD, all these regulations have a common denominator, which is chemicals. So we play a huge role in delivering those regulations and especially accelerating our work for a better world.” Michel highlighted the growth of the ZDHC community, which is committed to creating impact, but also noted that conflicting interests can challenge the creation of systemic change.

In his first industry event since joining Cascale as CEO, Colin Browne stressed the importance of collaboration to address industry challenges.  “We’re not moving quick enough, we’re not doing enough,” he said. “We are too fractured. There are way too many different initiatives.” Browne called upon attendees to align their efforts and commit to making a lasting impact together.

Later, Cascale’s Andrew Martin joined a session focused on Brands to Zero, an initiative that helps brands and retailers implement sustainable chemical management practices throughout their supply chains. Martin shared how Cascale’s work is aligned: From the beginning, the organization focused on harmonization to reduce duplicating efforts. Like Browne, Martin highlighted the importance of partnerships and collaboration to drive systemic change.

Both Cascale and ZDHC recently published their impact reports showcasing their aligned work. Reflecting on Cascale’s collaborative work with ZDHC, Martin shared the example of how the  Higg Facility Environmental Module aligned with the ZDHC Roadmap to Zero on wastewater, chemicals, and air. He also cited ongoing collaborative work on the chemical section of Cascale’s Higg Brand & Retail Module (BRM), which is now 73 percent aligned. Finally, while Martin bluntly challenged attendees on their role in perpetuating industry fragmentation with proprietary approaches, he also asked them to hold industry associations like Cascale and ZDHC to account to further drive alignment around impact areas that limit duplication. “True collaboration takes courage,” he said.

Cascale Offers Insights at ITMAconnect Innovator Xchange

  • Partnership and Collaboration
  • Decarbonization

Joyce Tsoi, senior director of the Decarbonization Program at Cascale, joined a panel on “Sustainability and Finance in the World of Textiles” at the ITMAconnect Innovator Xchange Virtual Edition last month.

May 09, 2024

Joyce Tsoi, senior director of the Decarbonization Program at Cascale, joined a panel on “Sustainability and Finance in the World of Textiles” at the ITMAconnect Innovator Xchange Virtual Edition last month.

Moderated by Jeroen Vits, managing director of ITMA Services, Brussels, the panel also included Ryan Gaines, chief financial officer of Apparel Impact Institute, a Cascale partner, and Michael Rattinger, senior climate change specialist at Asian Development Bank.

Designed to offer perspective and insights on the intersection between sustainability and finance in the global textile supply chain, the panelists discussed sustainability requirements set by global brands and retailers and their impact on the global textile supply chain. Participants also shed light on financial instruments for the textile industry to realize its sustainable transformation demanded by many stakeholders.

Tsoi shared that ITMA is well positioned to weigh in on the transformations in the supply chain, a subject on which Cascale and collaborators are increasingly focused. She detailed how Aii and Cascale formed a strategic partnership in 2023 in order to expand impact and scale the collective knowledge base. Then stakeholders can align on funding, decision-making, and ultimately, accelerate action. For Aii, this chiefly involves Fashion Climate Fund and Climate Solutions Portfolio, which is meant to accelerate action and drive emissions reduction. Cascale’s focus is the Decarbonization Program and corresponding science-aligned targets (SATs) adoption, part of Cascale’s growing program base that is guided by the organization’s “Evolution for Impact” strategy.

With more than 300 members worldwide – including brands and retailers, manufacturers, and affiliate members – Tsoi shared that Cascale effectively represents half of the apparel, textiles, and footwear industry, in terms of revenue. She recommended brands and retailers utilize the Higg Index suite of tools and nominate their suppliers to participate in programs to improve energy efficiency and/or adopt solar rooftops at the facility level. Tsoi advised that brands communicate their climate goals and targets clearly with their suppliers and build deeper engagement on decarbonization intervention projects. These included coal phase out, optimizing energy efficiencies in production, and transitioning to low-carbon or renewable energy fuels or technologies. Overall, she said, the sector needs to realize significant decarbonization efforts in order to keep the global temperature rise within the 1.5-degree Celsius limit by 2030.

Finally, Tsoi shared a promising outlook for textile recycling, which can help to conserve resources in textile production and improve efficiencies. She called for the continued investment in developing these advanced technologies and infrastructure to boost the collection, sorting, and processing of textile waste, as well as research and development of using innovative materials.

Cascale Moderates PUMA Sustainability Stakeholder Dialogue

  • Partnership and Collaboration
May 07, 2024

Jeremy Lardeau, senior vice president of Higg Index at Cascale, moderated a sustainability stakeholder dialogue at PUMA HQ in Herzogenaurach, Germany, part of a two-day event in which stakeholders converged to discuss the Sustainability Vision 2030 platform for PUMA, which has been a highly committed Cascale member since 2012.

At a panel that included Mike Burgass, co-founder and director at Biodiversity​​, Jeremy He, sustainability development director at Shenzhou International Group​​, Lindita Xhaveri-Salihu, business engagement lead at UN Climate Change, and Aishwarya Sharma, representative voice of a RE:GENERATION​, Lardeau steered a discussion of critical goals for climate and biodiversity.

The panel discussed PUMA’s 2030 goals, which cover a wide range of sustainability targets including human rights, climate, and circularity, aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Lardeau drew parallels between Cascale’s mission and vision and PUMA’s ambitious 10FOR25 targets. He also pointed out shared values of collaboration and collective action across the consumer goods industry, with notable alignment between PUMA and the ZDHC Foundation.

Cascale and Fair Wear Announce Strategic Collaboration

  • Partnership and Collaboration

New collaboration to catalyze the industry towards impactful due diligence

Photo of a group of people stood around a table working collaboratively
March 28, 2024

Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Oakland (CA) – March  28, 2024: Cascale, the global nonprofit alliance formerly known as the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, and Fair Wear, an independent nonprofit multi-stakeholder initiative that works to improve conditions for workers in garment factories, have announced a strategic collaboration. The core purpose of the collaboration is to promote human and labor rights.

“Power imbalances in the consumer goods industry can often result in both human rights and environmental risks and violations in supply chains,” said Andrew Martin, executive vice president at Cascale. “More equitable partnerships are not only desirable but are a necessary driving force for continuous improvement in responsible business conduct, and effective due diligence has a pivotal role to play in delivering this. With our membership, representing over 300 organizations in the consumer goods industry, and Fair Wear’s expertise, we work collaboratively to expand and scale the systemic change needed to address the human rights challenges we face.”

“With 25 years of experience in what is now known as human rights due diligence, Fair Wear knows that industry alignment is a condition for real impact on workers,” said Alexander Kohnstamm, executive director at Fair Wear. “Now that legislation is a fact, we are ready to provide Cascale members with Fair Wear’s knowledge and solutions to facilitate impactful due diligence. This collaboration is a great step in raising the bar for human rights in global garment supply chains.”

The industry’s fragmented nature undermines efforts to ensure unified due diligence implementation. Cascale and Fair Wear agree that meaningful change requires collaboration. Therefore, they will work with Worldly, the leader in environmental and social impact data for the apparel and footwear industry, to jointly provide their members with high-quality, reliable resources and guidance. These resources will help navigate the complexities of human rights due diligence effectively, leveraging tools such as Cascale’s Higg Index.

Fair Wear and Cascale have been working to drive sustainability in the apparel and textile industry for decades, collaborating and aligning on several initiatives related to responsible business practices. Both organizations have jointly emphasized and advocated for the critical importance of mandatory due diligence legislation as a catalyst for industry-wide impact. Furthermore, the organizations have actively supported the European Commission’s Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CS3D), a recently approved Directive in European Union law that requires due diligence for companies to prevent adverse social and environmental impacts across their value chains. Cascale and Fair Wear welcome the recent approval of CS3D by the Council, as well as the recent approval vote in the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI). Together, they eagerly await the European Parliament’s plenary vote to adopt the Directive, expected in April 2024. This vote is expected to contribute to the establishment of a comprehensive framework for sustainable practices in the industry.

Moreover, both organizations understand the urgent need for aligning due diligence efforts with international standards, such as the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains in the Garment & Footwear Sector (OECD Guidelines). This is especially important given the developments in Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence (HREDD) legislation, such as the EU CS3D. Through this collaboration, Fair Wear and Cascale will help brands meet existing and upcoming legislative requirements.


About Cascale

Cascale is the global nonprofit alliance catalyzing collective action toward equitable and restorative business practices in the consumer goods industry. Spanning 300 retailers, brands, manufacturers, governments, academics, industry associations, and nonprofits across 37 countries, we are united by a singular vision to give back more than we take for people and the planet. Cascale’s membership includes apparel, footwear, home furnishings, sporting and outdoor goods, and bags and luggage companies.

Formerly known as the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Cascale owns and develops the Higg Index. Initially formed to create standardized sustainability metrics, Cascale has sharpened its focus to driving pre-competitive collective action for a unified industry transformation. As an independent entity, Cascale brings together brands, retailers, manufacturers, NGOs, academics, and industry associations to combat climate change, ensure decent work, and contribute to a nature-positive future.

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About Fair Wear

Fair Wear’s mission is to achieve a world where workers’ rights are realised through freedom of association and social dialogue. We want to see the global garment supply chain as a source of safe, dignified and decently paid employment. As a multi-stakeholder initiative, we have connected and convened brands, factories, workers, trade unions, NGOs and other industry influencers, and built strong multi-stakeholder networks across the whole value chain for the past 25 years. Utilising each of their unique leverage, we demonstrate how impactful OECD-aligned HRDD implementation can positively change the lives of the people who make our clothes.

Sustainable Apparel Coalition Presents at ISPO Munich

  • Partnership and Collaboration
Photo of three women in front of a display at ISPO Munich 2023
December 12, 2023

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) joined forces with Fair Wear Foundation (FW) and the Social and Labour Convergence Program (SLCP) to present on “Leveraging Collective Action for Human Rights” at ISPO Munich, an annual conference for the global sports business community featuring 2,400 exhibitors.

The presentation took place on the program stage for the European Outdoor Group (EOG), a member and partner of all three organizations. The conversation was grounded in the collaborative work that FW, SLCP, and the SAC have pursued in tandem to leverage complementary tools, data, insights, and thought leadership, igniting social and societal change within the apparel and footwear supply chains.

Representatives from the three multi-stakeholder initiatives presented on why leaders must act collaboratively on human rights injustices and shared strategies on how to promote, improve, and scale meaningful impact and engagement for workers.

Speakers included Erlinda Lee, global membership development director at the SAC, who shared information about the organization’s Higg Index suite of tools, used by businesses to measure, evaluate, and improve social and environmental impact; Lee’s presentation centered on the Higg Facility Social & Labor Module (FSLM).

Mariette van Amstel, head of membership at FW, explored the overarching vision that the three organizations share on goals related to worker rights, social, and labor — following the same Human Rights Due Diligence protocol (HRDD). Lottie Watkinson, business development manager at SLCP, shared details of the high-quality comparable data that the organization brings to the collaborative process.

The presenters also acknowledged the challenges — lengthy supply chain processes, power dynamics, and the absence of a common language — faced by many businesses and organizations. They stressed the relevance of this work to the outdoor industry as a whole, emphasizing how the organizations can support companies with tools and solutions at each stage of their journey. Finally, they emphasized that businesses must take action now if they haven’t already, and be prepared for emerging legislation that will mandate compliance.

Sustainable Apparel Coalition Joins MIT SHINE Research Initiative

  • Partnership and Collaboration
Four people working together at a desk around a laptop
November 20, 2023

San Francisco, Amsterdam, Hong Kong – November 20, 2023: The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) has become a member of the Sustainability and Health Initiative for Net Positive Enterprise (SHINE) established by the Materials Systems Laboratory (MSL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The project researches product-based and organizational handprint creation and net positive assessment, enabling organizations to pursue the creation of positive sustainability-related outcomes in concert with ongoing efforts to reduce their footprints.

“Net Positive reflects the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s strategic goal of transforming the industry into one that gives more than it takes to people and the planet,” said Amina Razvi, chief executive officer at the SAC. “The work of MIT SHINE aligns with the SAC’s strategic focus on three foundational pillars – combating climate change, ensuring decent work for all, and shaping a nature-positive future. We’re thrilled to join this powerful initiative.”

SHINE @ MIT is a research center dedicated to improving the scientific basis by which NetPositive is assessed at all of these levels: products, activities, companies, economic sectors, individuals, and groups of people. Its work includes the quantitative evaluation of footprints through the science, data, and methodologies of life cycle assessment (LCA). LCAs also provide the basis for estimating the positive impact of innovative products, materials, activities and processes that function with greater efficiency, provide increased benefits, and reduce wastes and adverse effects.

“The idea of Net Positive is conceptually simple,” said Gregory Norris, research scientist and MIT SHINE director. “However, using LCAs to evaluate both the potential good and harm done by apparel with rigor, clarity and credibility is a complex challenge, though it’s one we are devoted to alongside the SAC. We look forward to working with the SAC and accessing the deep well of data presented by the Higg Index suite of tools.”

As a global multi-stakeholder nonprofit alliance that represents about 50 percent of the apparel and textile industry in 36 countries, the SAC facilitates a common approach to measuring sustainability that is grounded in the Higg Index, a suite of tools that utilize LCA data to measure social and environmental impact from materials in products, to how those products are made, to brand practices. Through the continuous evolution of the Higg Index tools, the aim is to provide users with access to the most up-to-date, accurate data against relevant industry standards in order to drive sustainable decision-making across the industry.

“We look forward to collaborating with MIT Shine in our ongoing efforts to provide state-of-the-art tools to support our members in their journey of transformation,” said Jeremy Lardeau, vice president Higg Index. “Initiatives like these help bring the latest academic and scientific developments to the industry in innovative and sometimes disruptive ways, and we look forward to the exciting opportunities for our tools and the value chain impacts they can help drive.”


— ENDS —

About the Sustainable Apparel Coalition:

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) is a global, non-profit alliance of over 280 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.

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SAC Celebrates the Textile Exchange Conference in London

  • Partnership and Collaboration
Photo of three men in a fireside chat format at the Textile Exchange Conference 2023
November 03, 2023

The annual Textile Exchange Conference took place in London this year, and a substantial group of SAC team members from our membership engagement, stakeholder engagement and business development teams were in attendance.

Each year, the conference brings together leaders and experts from across the apparel value chain in an effort to explore opportunities to collaborate and align on climate solutions.

A close collaborator with the SAC, Textile Exchange publishes the open-source Preferred Fiber and Materials Matrix to assess the performance of different sustainability standards within material categories. The nonprofit also provides industry benchmarking data around fibers, including a recent report alongside consultancies Boston Consulting Group and Quantis.

At the SAC Lunch and Learn kindly hosted by Textile Exchange as part of the conference programme for approximately 60 registered attendees, Dani Baker, SAC’s senior membership engagement manager, EMEA, delivered a timely and relevant overview of the Higg Product Module.  In addition, Hamza Hasan, candidate and membership engagement manager at the SAC, hosted a Fireside Chat to discuss the launch of the Higg FEM 4.0. “[Higg FEM is] the ticket to the game,” said panelist Jonathan Salmon, head of sustainability at Li & Fung Limited. “It’s not perfect, but there is no perfect tool.” Dipankar Bose, global environmental manager at Varner, concluded that “Higg FEM 4.0 is a future-proof masterpiece!” The SAC team also hosted a drinks reception where attendees had the opportunity to participate in an “Ask Me Anything” session with staff from the SAC, Worldly, and the SAC’s Social & Labor Convergence Program (SLCP).

The SAC enjoys a deep and collaborative relationship with Textile Exchange. With Apparel Impact Institute and Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC), we co-founded the apparel alliance to coordinate and align tools, programs and resources that reduce redundancies and drive performance improvements and collective actions to achieve a 45 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. With the Global Fashion Agenda and the Federation of European Sporting Goods (FESI), we co-founded the Policy Hub to collaborate on technical expertise and propose ambitious sustainability policies for the apparel and footwear industry in Europe.

We were thrilled to participate this year and to contribute to the success of the 2023 Textile Exchange Conference!

Sustainable Apparel Coalition and International Apparel Federation Announce Collaboration Agreement

  • Partnership and Collaboration
Rear view of chinese female blue collar workers working in clothing factory in a row
September 25, 2023

New collaboration with the IAF to accelerate efforts towards equitable and sustainable global supply chains for the apparel and fashion industry.

San Francisco, Amsterdam, Hong Kong – September 25, 2023: The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), has today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), outlining a strategic collaboration with the International Apparel Federation (IAF). This collaboration aims to advance a shared vision for equitable and sustainable global supply chains for the apparel and fashion industry.

The two organizations come together with the shared belief that their collaboration can catalyze net-positive effects on the societies and communities of which they are a part. This is underpinned by an understanding of the need to further advance balance and equal partnership in commercial activities throughout the supply chain — including building efficiencies that will reduce the number of social and environmental assessments that unnecessarily burden manufacturers. The strategic collaboration recognizes the value of each organization’s different core competencies, skill sets, and expertise in order to build complementary solutions, industry roadmaps, and frameworks — working together to raise the voice, engagement, and real influence of manufacturers.

Andrew Martin, Executive Vice President at Sustainable Apparel Coalition, said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with the International Apparel Federation. As an organization committed to creating an equitable and just world for all, we believe this collaboration will enable us to harness our collective strength in our work on areas from decarbonization, to purchasing practices and more, and will see us co-create solutions that drive rapid progress at scale. We are at a critical point for our planet and now more than ever, we must work together to solve the industry’s most urgent and systemic issues, and doing all we can to elevate manufacturer voices and perspectives is essential not only for the SAC but our industry as a whole. At the SAC, we have renewed our commitment to collaborate with key industry stakeholders and organizations to develop solutions that foster equitable and restorative business practices, as evidenced by the recent launch of our updated strategy. Our collaboration with the IAF will only accelerate the momentum.”

Matthijs Crietee, Secretary General, at International Apparel Federation said: “It is the IAF’s conviction that the impressive range of challenges faced by our industry can only be met by brands, retailers and manufacturers working in unison. Hence, as IAF, we have embarked on an ambitious program to create structural links between such global initiatives as the SAC and the global apparel manufacturing community that IAF represents. The IAF is very pleased that SAC clearly shares our view on the importance of structurally including apparel manufacturers’ voices and perspectives when designing solutions to create a more sustainable industry. Organizing the inclusion of manufacturers is not only the just way forward, it is also simply imperative to achieve the necessary results as an industry. Good collaboration is complex but rewarding and this agreement will facilitate and push IAF and SAC to make it happen.”

Responsible for as much as roughly 8% of annual global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the textile and apparel industry recognizes the scale and urgency of the global climate challenge and the impact of apparel and fashion supply chains in responding with and a 45% reduction by 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

IAF and SAC will collaborate on projects and activities to deliver decarbonization of the industry in line with internationally recognized targets, working together on collective action opportunities to reduce carbon emissions. In addition, they will work together towards industry-wide alignment and implementation of responsible purchasing practices, while also identifying and implementing opportunities to ensure that manufacturers’ voices and influence are represented in the development of legislative initiatives, measures, and policies that impact the supply chain, both on relevant policy stages and with key policymakers – on a regional or national level and from a global perspective.

This collaboration complements the SAC’s recent launch of its updated strategic plan, redefining its mandate of “evolution for impact” — a focal theme that now drives its strategies, initiatives, and partnerships, building on the strong base SAC has created over the last decade.  And it fortifies the SAC’s commitment to realizing a sustainable future, aligning harmoniously with its strategic plan’s overarching objectives. By pooling their collective expertise and resources, the SAC and IAF are well-positioned to make lasting contributions to the global apparel and fashion industry.

— ENDS —

About the International Apparel Federation 

The International Apparel Federation (IAF) is the world’s leading federation for apparel manufacturers, (SME) brands, their associations, and the supporting industry. IAF’s membership now includes apparel associations and companies from more than 40 countries, a membership that directly and indirectly represents over a hundred thousand companies and over 20 million employees. IAF brings its members together to jointly create stronger, smarter, and more sustainable supply chains, it provides its members with valuable information and guidance and it represents its members on several international platforms working incessantly on more industry standardisation and harmonisation, industry collaboration, and inclusiveness of solutions.

About the Sustainable Apparel Coalition:

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) is an independent and impact-creating organization that aims to lead the industry toward a shared vision of sustainability based upon a joint approach for measuring, evaluating, and improving performance.

As a non-profit organization, it has members from across the apparel, footwear and textile sector, but exists independently outside any one company so that it can drive progress. The SAC’s collective action efforts bring more than 280 global brands, retailers, manufacturers, NGOs, academics and industry associations together. They represent about half of the apparel and footwear industry along the whole supply chain – from sustainability pioneers to organizations just getting started.

Before the SAC existed, companies worked in a siloed way, using their own programs and measurements that lacked standardization and an ability to drive collective action. In 2009, Walmart and Patagonia identified this as a serious problem. Joining forces, they brought together peers, competitors, and relevant stakeholders from across the sector to, on a pre-competitive basis, develop a universal approach to measuring sustainability performance and founded the Sustainable Apparel Coalition.

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Sustainable Apparel Coalition Joins ZDHC South Asia Conference Discussion on Collaboration to Accelerate Sustainable Chemical Management

  • Partnership and Collaboration
Photo of ZDHC South Asia Conference Discussion Panel
September 20, 2023

The ZDHC South Asia Conference in Bengaluru, India facilitated high-level conversations on sustainability, including a panel discussion on chemical management. Moderated by Prasad Pant, South Asia Director and Competence Centre Director for the ZDHC Foundation’s Roadmap to Zero Program, “The Need for Collaboration in Accelerating Sustainable Chemical Management” panel included Dhawal Mane, SAC Director of Verification, Training & Insights. Fellow panelists included Klaehn Gundolf, Head of Environmental Component, Responsible Industrial Practices in the Clothing Industry in Asia (FABRIC), Shivam Gusain, Innovation Analyst at Fashion for Good, Vidhesh Kadam, Standards & Recycled Materials Specialist at Textile Exchange, and Edga Melan, General Manager Engineering & Sustainability, Teejay Sri Lanka, Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) and Fabric Apparel Accessory Manufacturers Association (FAAMA) in Sri Lanka.

Mane emphasized the deep collaborations that drive SAC action on chemical management, including a close partnership with ZDHC to align their Supplier to Zero Program with the Higg Facility Environment Module (FEM); similarly, the alignment of FEM with the RtZ and StZ programs is rooted in the apparel alliance, which was formed by the Apparel Impact Institute, Textile Exchange, ZDHC Foundation, and the SAC in order to align tools and programs to achieve greater alignment and avoid duplicating efforts. Complementary tools are the bedrock of the apparel alliance’s goal of creating a connected, end-to-end path to action for the entire apparel and footwear industry as we work together to achieve a minimum goal of 45% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030.

Mane talked about SAC’s updated strategic plan, and its focus on aligning the facility’s journey geared towards impact. “With about 8000 factories completing the Higg FEM verifications, we recognise the several touch points facilities have with various supply chain sustainability programs and collaborative organizations.”

One of the key outputs will be an industry-wide standardized environment performance framework and factory journey, which will provide clarity and insight on how brands and their supply chains can best utilize different programs to drive continuous improvement on environmental performance at the factory level, and how these programs are connected and can facilitate the most impact. His final call to action was for continued collaboration with industry stakeholders to address the challenges we face as an industry.

Sustainable Apparel Coalition announces partnership with Apparel Impact Institute at Planet Textiles

  • Partnership and Collaboration
  • Planet Textiles
Amina Razvi and Kurt Kipka onstage at Planet Textiles 2023
June 15, 2023

New partnership with Apparel Impact Institute to provide opportunity to accelerate solutions to tackle climate change and work toward a more responsible textile and apparel industry

Milan, Italy – June 15, 2023: The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) has today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which outlines a new strategic partnership with the Apparel Impact Institute (Aii) on an initiative geared towards supporting efforts to accelerate and scale decarbonization programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the entire industry.

There is no doubt that the textile and apparel industry must transform to better serve the needs of people and the planet, and the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report heightened the urgency with which everyone needs to work together to combat and reverse the effects of climate change. To help us keep within the 1.5°C limit, the textile and apparel industry needs to reduce its emissions by at least 43% by 2030 compared to 2019 levels, and at least 60% by 2035.

To help the industry achieve these targets, the SAC is collaborating with Aii on a number of key areas including research and ecosystem development related to unlocking finance to support the decarbonization of the industry; establishing a clear, standardized journey for suppliers, manufacturers, and brands setting impact targets; creating action plans; and tracking climate-related achievements, and industry engagement, on reporting and data sharing. Under this partnership, the first detailed agreement signed is focused on supporting the continued progress and development of the Climate Solutions Portfolio (CSP), a registry of proven carbon reduction solutions for the apparel industry, and the Fashion Climate Fund (FCF), a donor collaborative funding model to support the reduction of carbon emissions in the textile, apparel, and footwear industries’ supply chain, across tiers 1-4.

Andrew Martin, Executive Vice President at the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Aii on this project. As an organization united by the belief that partnership is the new leadership, we see this collaboration as a unique opportunity to leverage our collective knowledge and technical expertise to drive meaningful change at scale. With time running out for us to reverse the worst impacts of climate change, the challenge we are facing is unprecedented and we cannot afford to lose any more time. We must, therefore, come together to co-create solutions that work towards a shift to a more responsible industry and deliver positive benefits to people and the planet.”

Kurt Kipka, Apparel Impact Institute Chief Impact Officer, said: “We are pleased to be furthering our long-standing relationship with the SAC. The organization has been an incredible support and a valued resource to many of Apparel Impact Institute’s initiatives and projects. We are at a critical point for our planet where we need to translate this momentum into real action immediately. Every player across the apparel & footwear industry’s value chain – large and small – has the collective power to do just that. We feel that our partnership with the SAC will only further that momentum.”

As an organization committed to leading the industry towards a shared vision of sustainability based on a multi-stakeholder approach, the SAC believes in the power of partnership to scale impact. Only through strategic collaborations with stakeholders across the industry to co-create and scale solutions can we catalyze the change we urgently need as we work towards a more responsible and sustainable textile and apparel industry.

Both the SAC and Aii are also founding members of the apparel alliance, alongside Textile Exchange and ZDHC. The alliance partners work to align goals, solutions, tools, and reporting, as well as events and training, to create a connected, end-to-end path to action for the entire apparel and footwear industry as they take collective steps to achieve a minimum goal of 45% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030.

– ENDS –


About the Sustainable Apparel Coalition:

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) an independent and impact-creating organization that aims to lead the industry toward a shared vision of sustainability based upon a joint approach for measuring, evaluating, and improving performance.

As a non-profit organization, it has members from across the apparel, footwear, and textile sector, but exists independently outside any one company so that it can drive progress. The SAC’s collective action efforts bring more than 280 global brands, retailers, manufacturers, NGOs, academics, and industry associations together. They represent about half of the apparel and footwear industry along the whole supply chain – from sustainability pioneers to organizations just getting started.

Before the SAC existed, companies worked in a siloed way, using their own programs and measurements that lacked standardization and an ability to drive collective action. In 2009, Walmart and Patagonia identified this as a serious problem. Joining forces, they brought together peers, competitors, and relevant stakeholders from across the sector to, on a pre-competitive basis, develop a universal approach to measuring sustainability performance and founded the Sustainable Apparel Coalition.

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About Apparel Impact Institute

Apparel Impact Institute is a non-profit collective founded in 2017 by NGO leaders: the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) and Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC), alongside industry leaders Target Corporation, Gap Inc., PVH and HSBC. The organization emerged organically as a result of a real need that apparel brands and retailers self-identified.

Aii identifies, funds, and scales proven quality solutions to accelerate positive impact in the apparel and footwear industry. Aii programs focus on areas that result in positive environmental impact from the production of apparel and footwear products to improve the industry.

Learn more: