Alpine Group, a long-standing manufacturing partner for well-known fashion brands like as The North Face, American Eagle Outfitters, Under Armour, and Sweaty Betty, is the first textile innovation and apparel manufacturing company in the world to undergo the Future-Fit Business Benchmark. The science-based strategic management tool correlates with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and clearly outlines the destination for enterprises looking to assess how much more work is needed to take meaningful action toward a future-fit society.
The adoption of the standard, announced on the occasion of Alpine Group's 40th anniversary, represents a significant step forward in driving growth for an industry where customers, investors, and employees alike are expecting more responsibility, particularly from brands. The Benchmark-driven commitments of Alpine Group to sustainability show the crucial role that textile innovation and garment manufacturing play in driving systemic change throughout the fashion value chain.
Ashok Mahtani, co-founder and chairman of Alpine Group, said that when he first started visiting textile and dyeing factories, he saw firsthand the devastation the business was causing, and no one appeared to care about sustainability. Fixing that flawed system demands a collaborative effort. For the past 40 years, Alpine has been exploring and pioneering sustainable advancements in materials science and industrial technologies. Adopting the Future-Fit Business Benchmark today is their method of speeding up transformation by bringing the rest of the industry — brands and partners alike — along for the ride. They do it in order for their innovation and production to have a beneficial influence on the whole value chain.
In accordance with the Future-Fit Business Benchmark, Alpine Group is pursuing a comprehensive sustainability strategy dubbed 'Threading the Future,' which will address three holistic areas of impact: Materials and Innovation, People Development and Empowerment, and Environmental Impact and Community Action.
Lewis Shuler, head of Innovation at Paradise Textiles, Alpine Group’s dedicated innovation hub, said that the garment sector has long been involved in disputes over the sustainability challenge, sometimes sidestepping each other even as greenwashing continues unabated. More collaboration on more ideas from all aspects is what their industry needs to make fashion suitable for the future. Their sustainability breakthroughs include their work on textile-to-textile recycling technologies and techniques that assist to decrease waste at scale, and hence at an affordable level. Beyond textile recycling, they’re continuing to investigate and advocate for the adoption of superior bio-based alternatives that deliver on performance, such as maize and hemp, while also implementing sophisticated Physical Tracer technology to ensure transparency and authenticity of all materials they utilize.
Alpine Group's announcement as the world's first textile innovation and apparel manufacturing company to embrace the Future-Fit Business Benchmark comes on the heels of the recent debut of its 'Factory of the Future' as part of Alex Apparels' state-of-the-art production facilities in Egypt. The facility, which is scheduled to operate in late 2022, is estimated to generate 2,000+ employment to the local economy. The Group is working to obtain LEED Gold certification for the facility, which is a voluntary environmental certification system that recognizes the sustainability features of building design, construction, operation, and maintenance.
Dr. Geoff Kendall, co-founder and CEO of Future-Fit Foundation, said that the transition to true sustainability is going to be long and hard for any business — and like any journey, you don't get very far unless you know exactly where you're going. The Future-Fit Business Benchmark identifies the goal for all businesses and provides guidelines to help them get there. Unfortunately, many organizations still find the concept of true transformation intimidating, so they settle for incremental improvements to an unsustainable status quo. This general lack of desire only emphasizes the significance of Alpine Group's commitment to Future-Fit. It's a watershed moment that might chart the path for the whole fashion industry. Hopefully, additional firms will follow Alpine Group's lead and contribute to making the world a better place.
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