The textile and apparel industry is under the spotlight more than ever and there is no doubt that the fashion and textile industry must transform to better serve the needs of people and planet. However, the complexity of the industry, with supply chains spanning across the globe, no organization or government can do it alone. Collaboration is the only way to protect our industry, the planet and its people, long term.
At the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), collaboration and partnership have always been at the heart of the organization, which was formed with an ambitious vision to bring together all stakeholders to develop a universal approach to measuring sustainability performance and to drive collective action.
This year’s GreenBiz23, which took place from February 14-16 in Scottsdale, Arizona presented a great opportunity for the SAC to engage in thoughtful conversations with other leaders on how stakeholders throughout the value chain can work together to tackle the systemic challenges of human rights and climate change.
Speaking on a panel titled, “The Higg Index: Lessons and Perspectives”, Amina Razvi, CEO of the SAC, joined James Schaffer, Chief Strategy Officer at Higg and Jeannie Renne-Malone, Vice President, Global Sustainability at VF Corporation in a thought provoking discussion, where she kicked things off by sharing the history of how the SAC came to be, during a time when organizations worked in silos and measured different versions of “impact”. The SAC has since been working to drive the radical change needed by bringing together organizations from across the industry and beyond to collaborate on sustainability solutions.
Amina shared insights and key learnings following the NCA notification in 2022 on the use of Higg Index data to support consumer-facing environmental claims. Reflecting on the challenges faced, she highlighted how the period created a positive opportunity for self-reflection for the organization and others in the industry. She went on to add that SAC is working collaboratively with authorities and stakeholders to drive clarity on what full ‘transparency’ means and how to communicate that in the best way possible.
On the role of multi-stakeholder organizations to move the industry forward, Amina emphasized the importance of the industry coming together to demonstrate transparency and action in not only reducing its social and environmental impacts, but in delivering positive benefits to the planet and its people. She also called for harmonized legislation to help steer the industry’s efforts to tackle the worst impacts of climate change.
The panel closed off with a call for greater collaborative action, involving the entire value chain, to ensure everyone understands how to leverage standardized tools to not only assess where they are, but to use the data to actually drive performance improvement.