Sustainable Apparel Coalition achieves 300+ member milestone
When Walmart and Patagonia joined forces with other key value chain partners in 2009, their vision was to develop a common approach to measuring sustainability. Little did they know that 14 years later the group they founded would represent nearly 50 percent of the apparel and textile industry across 36 countries.
The SAC’s mission is now more critical than ever. The organization is intent on transforming business for exponential impact through groundbreaking programs and tools, collaborative partnerships, and trusted leadership on industry sustainability. And this work remains anchored by the tools that the original group pioneered: The Higg Index, which measures social and environmental impact from materials in products, to how those products are made, to brand practices.
“Diamond Fabrics Limited is proud to join the SAC community, and we believe that our SAC membership will play a pivotal role in advancing our sustainability initiatives,” said Saqib Shahzad, head of sustainability, at Pakistan-based textile manufacturing company Diamond Fabrics Limited of Sapphire Group, a new member. “We are committed to actively contributing to the shared vision of creating a consumer goods industry that gives back to the planet and its people. We look forward to collaborating with like-minded organizations to drive positive change.”
“At Dunelm, we remain as ambitious as ever about being a company that focuses on growing sustainably. This has meant combining long-term thinking with shorter term, achievable, and measurable goals,” commented Christina Downend, head of climate change at Dunelm, a candidate member in home furnishings, a new adjacent product category for the SAC. “The SAC global community and Higg Index tools have helped us on that journey, not least as we develop initiatives such as our Better Manufacturing program, where we are supporting and engaging our suppliers on their own transitions to net zero. Our goals cannot be met without collaboration and we are excited to be part of this community, to share knowledge and ideas so that we all make progress to fulfill our ambitions.”
“The Sustainable Apparel Coalition is a collaborative organization that aims to promote sustainable practices in the apparel and footwear industry,” said Jack Duan, director of sustainability solutions at GreenPont, a new SAC member. “Joining the coalition allows GreenPont to share best practices, collaborate on research and development, and collectively drive positive change within the industry. Being part of SAC is a strategic move for GreenPont looking to align its business practices with sustainable and responsible principles, and to contribute to a more environmentally and socially conscious industry.”
Over the past four years, the SAC has doubled its membership and today, there are more than 24,000 Higg Index users worldwide, facilitating comparable sustainability reporting. During that same time, the team has tripled — and capacity has grown accordingly, building and sustaining partnerships with industry leaders including Apparel Impact Institute, Textile Exchange, ZDHC Foundation, Worldly, SLCP, The Industry We Want, and Global Fashion Agenda, among others.
“While many hands were hard at work behind this 300-plus member milestone, it is important we acknowledge the hard work and dedication driven at the ground level by the membership development team,” said Andrew Martin, executive vice president of the SAC. “It can take months of engagement behind the scenes to ensure prospective members get the information they need before joining a mission-focused organization like the SAC. From there, a mutually extensive vetting process is taken on by both parties. We could not be more grateful for the growth we’ve achieved in the name of industry improvement and want to, again, extend a warm welcome to our newest members.”
For 14 years, the SAC has focused on systems change, working collaboratively across supply chains in order to move the industry from silos to collective action. Its new strategic plan further defines these goals, refocusing on combating climate change, ensuring decent work, and contributing to a nature-positive future in order to deliver impact at scale.