Across the board, a key requirement for any group of organization to form a technical secretariat is their ability to gather at least 50% of any given industry. As an industry association with over a decade of experience working across apparel & footwear, the coalition was uniquely positioned to be able to aggregate such a group. We are grateful to be awarded the opportunity by the EU Commission to leverage the work we’ve done to further support our members and peers in their journey towards sustainability through a common approach for measuring and evaluating environmental impacts of apparel and footwear products.
As an organization, one of the SAC’s core objectives is to unite the industry around a common language in sustainability performance and measurement, which mirrors the goal of the PEF.
We believe the PEF is a key solution towards accelerating industry-wide alignment.
We also believe that good policy needs to build on these existing initiatives so we don’t create duplicity and add unnecessary burdens on actors in the global value chain. By building on what has already been done, we can accelerate the action we need to see in the next decade and all fronts from social through to environmental. The OECD and UNGP have been creating effective frameworks for years now, and in the case of the SAC, we have spent 10 years together with the industry developing effective tools, – legislation that does not build on these but goes off at tangents severely risks setting the industry back by a decade, which we cannot afford.
Finally, language is critical. We need unambiguous words and clear definitions. Just as the SAC spent the past decade developing tools for the standardized measurement of social and environmental impacts so we can compare apples to apples, policy needs to be written so that the language is clear cut across the board.
Well-informed and well-structured policy can help the industry comply quickly and accurately, which is one of the reasons we set up the Policy Hub together with GFA, FESI, and now joined by Textile Exchange & ZDHC to enable the industry to speak with one voice as it informs the development of regulation.