Sustainable Apparel Coalition Annual Meeting 2021 calls for a new kind of leadership to transform the industry for exponential impact
San Francisco, CA & Amsterdam, Netherlands – November 10th – The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), a global multi-stakeholder nonprofit alliance for the consumer goods industry is pleased to be hosting its annual meeting this year in collaboration with the Textile Sustainability Conference, led by Textile Exchange. Under the theme, ReVision: Accelerating Action for a Reimagined Future, the all virtual event is taking place from Wednesday, November 10th (AMER/EMEA) & November 11th (APAC). Attendees will also have the chance to join the rest of the Textile Sustainability Conference the following week.
Dr. Sweta Chakraborty, risk and behavioral scientist, and Jason Judd, Executive Director of the Cornell University New Conversations Project, are the keynote speakers at the SAC annual meeting this year. They will be discussing galvanizing behavioral change through science-based information to address the climate crisis, and the post-covid future of the apparel industry, respectively. The annual meeting, which is open for the first time to both members and non-members, will be an opportunity for attendees to better understand how the SAC and Higg Index tools can equip organizations with the necessary information, resources and partnerships to advance their sustainability strategies and accelerate action towards tangible progress.
“We are excited to be hosting our annual meeting this year in collaboration with Textile Exchange, an organization with whom we share aligned purposes and goals towards transforming the industry. As we work towards tackling the climate crisis and addressing social justice across our industry, it is imperative that we look at leadership from a broader lens. We believe revisioning the future is about working towards collective goals and deeply connected strategies, through a new kind of leadership at every level, one in which we serve with humility, commit with courage, and partner with intent. It’s time for us to fundamentally evolve our leadership into something new,” said Amina Razvi, Executive Director of the SAC during her opening address.
The SAC annual meeting will offer member-exclusive content throughout the event, and will serve as an opportunity for attendees to cultivate and deepen partnerships with like-minded organizations to address issues impacting the industry and work towards transforming business for exponential impact. In addition to learning more about the organization, attendees will have a chance to network with industry peers, and receive concrete action plans to help them accelerate their sustainability journeys. They will explore new and innovative ways to leverage the Higg Index tools and Transparency program to further accelerate impact and improvements in the value chain.
Having spent the last decade developing the Higg index tools, the SAC firmly believes industry wide adoption of the Higg Index suite of tools is key to transforming the industry. Doing so will continue to urge industry players to leverage the tools, which are proven solutions to helping companies better understand their social and environmental performance along the value chain, and to determine what they need to do to improve their performance and scale collective action.
As the industry works to recover and rebuild from the pandemic, the SAC sees numerous opportunities for the apparel industry and organizations to adapt and continue operating more sustainably by reducing environmental impacts and protecting the well-being of workers. To thrive in a post-pandemic world and to maintain strong business relationships, companies will need to continuously work together and lead with values of sustainability and compassion for the health, safety, and well-being of workers around the world, especially those who are most vulnerable.
Inspired by the union of two unlikely partners committed to bringing the industry together to develop a common language for measuring and communicating sustainability performance, collaboration is a core value of the SAC and has been woven into the fabric of the organization’s work from the very beginning. It has collaborated with its members in the development and completion of the Higg Index tools. The SAC also continuously engages stakeholders in the industry to identify areas of improvement, shared goals and opportunities for collective action, to move the industry from insight to action.
The SAC has been actively following discussions coming out of the COP26 summit and despite recent reports and the outcomes demonstrating the need for a new approach to leadership to address the crisis facing the world, it is also bolstered by the concrete agreements world leaders are making pushing for action. The organisation also participated in the “Fashion Industry on the Race to Zero” panel hosted by the UNFCCC Fashion Industry Charter alongside industry conveners in the fashion industry, to discuss how they are supporting transition to a sustainable future on technical, policy and communications level.
The annual meeting will also feature content on SAC’s work with Textile Exchange, Apparel Impact Institute and ZDHC in line with its commitment to enhanced collaboration with the industry. The SAC has been working with Textile Exchange, ZDHC and the Apparel Impact Institute, as part of an alliance, a set of four organizations within a broader industry collective, the Fashion Conveners. The alliance was established a year ago as a result of the four organizations coming together to partner more deeply in four key resource areas: Programs and Tools, Global Implementation, Impact Management and Funding and Administration and Infrastructure. The session will feature critical updates on the alliance’s efforts towards leading the industry towards shared environmental goals. It will also include firm commitments made among the four organizations to work together to reduce GHG emissions by 45%.
“We are honored to be part of an alliance dedicated to leading with humility, courage and partnership because without it, the work we are doing would not be possible. While our work is not complete, our alliances continue to grow and I believe this type of service, commitment and intent, is what is needed across our industry. By sharing the progress we have made as an alliance, the SAC annual meeting offers an opportunity for us to have meaningful conversations and establish clear roadmaps to supporting organizations along their sustainability journey and industry at large to ultimately fulfill the goal of getting to 45%,” added Amina.
“We could not have asked for a better partner than the SAC as we work to truly transform the industry. This is a great opportunity for both our organizations to leverage expertise and resources to engage the industry as a whole in telling a combined story to make the sustainability journey as simple as possible for everyone regardless of the stage they are at. For us to scale solutions and get to 45%, we need to fully commit to shifting towards concrete actions to move the industry forward”, said La Rhea Pepper, CEO and Co-founder, Textile Exchange.
The Sustainable Apparel Coalition believes partnership is at the core of a new kind of leadership and remains committed to drive collective action for accelerated impact. The SAC looks towards the coming year filled with optimism, and a chance to re-imagine a thriving, inclusive, just and sustainable future and take concrete steps towards this vision. By committing to a new kind of leadership that is rooted in partnership, serving with humility, committing with courage and partnering with intent, the industry will be able to accelerate action and transform the industry.
About the Sustainable Apparel Coalition
The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) is a global multi-stakeholder nonprofit alliance for the consumer goods industry. It’s made up of more than 250 leading apparel, footwear and textile, brands, retailers, suppliers, service providers, trade associations, nonprofits, NGOs and academic institutions working to reduce environmental impact and promote social justice throughout the global value chain. Leveraging the Higg Index suite of tools for the standardized measurement of value chain sustainability, the SAC is working to transform business for exponential impact.
The SAC was incorporated as a 501(c)6 nonprofit organization and launched the groundbreaking Higg Index suite of tools in 2011. In May 2019, the SAC spun-off the Higg Index technology platform to Higg, which delivers tools and services that help consumer goods businesses accelerate transformation for a more sustainable future. For more information, visit www.apparelcoalition.org.
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Media Contact, Sustainable Apparel Coalition
SAC, Public Relations Analyst