The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), a global multi-stakeholder nonprofit alliance promoting sustainable practices for the consumer goods industry, has partnered with the Initiative for Global Solidarity (IGS) and secured 1 million euros of funding.
The funds will be used to coordinate a project to increase industry-wide convergence around environmental, social, and labor assessment, as well as to accelerate social and environmental supply chain due diligence. Selected worldwide value chains, brands, and retailers, as well as people at supplier factories, will be targeted as suppliers.
SAC was awarded funding after submitting a project in collaboration with the Apparel Impact Institute (Aii), The Social & Labor Convergence Program (SLCP), and the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC), Implementation Hub to develop standardized open assessment frameworks and data sharing models. It sees the project as an opportunity to expand its collaboration with the Apparel Alliance partners.
The Initiative for Global Solidarity (IGS) is a program run by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development. IGS encourages purchasing and producing companies to work together as partners, share responsibility for human rights and environmental due diligence, and raise awareness of these concerns.
SAC's vice president of membership and stakeholder engagement, Andrew Martin, sees the financing as an opportunity to shift the needle even farther, making even greater gains toward industry-wide collaboration and transformation.
Martin added that as an organization united by a shared vision to transform the consumer goods industry into one that gives more than it takes- to people and the planet, they see this project as an opportunity to further their efforts and drive real and positive change by creating synergies with its partners and aligning around sustainability goals, tools, and programs that will help them achieve these goals.
Kurt Kipka, vice president at Apparel Impact Institute, said that together, they will establish an effective ecosystem for engagement amongst themselves and other prominent organizations, which will expedite the industry on its journey to attaining shared environmental goals. At Aii, they see this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to effect substantial change, and they look forward to getting started.
Meanwhile, Frank Michel, executive director of ZDHC, notes that with the aid of its Implementation Hub team, ZDHC is looking forward to seeing the project's successful deployment and the subsequent impact on individuals and the earth at large.
The project's goal is to develop and spread open data standards for social and environmental performance. According to SAC, the project has the potential to make a significant impact toward greater transparency and sustainability in the textile and garment industry and beyond, and as a result, the widest possible adoption of the data standards among producers, auditors, sustainability organizations, and brands will be a critical success factor for the project.
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