A group of leading apparel and footwear brands, retailers, manufacturers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academic experts, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched the Sustainable Apparel Coalition.
The goal of the Coalition is to lead the industry toward a shared vision of sustainability built on an industry-wide index for businesses to use to measure and evaluate apparel and footwear product sustainability performance. The tools will be developed with involvement of a wide range of stakeholders, and the metrics will be fully transparent to encourage broad adoption of the index globally.
The effort will draw heavily on the Outdoor Industry Association Eco Index and Nike's Environmental Apparel Design tools. OIA has been beta testing the first phase of the Eco Index since last summer in a global pilot program. It promoted the index to Chinese manufacturers and brands last week at the ispo China ’11 trade show.
Founding members of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition are based in North America, Asia, Europe and the U.K. They include Adidas, Arvind Mills, C&A, Duke University, Environmental Defense Fund, Esprit, Esquel, Gap Inc., H&M, HanesBrands, Intradeco, JC Penney, Lenzing, Levi Strauss & Co., Li & Fung, Marks & Spencer, Mountain Equipment Co-op, New Balance, Nike, Nordstrom, Otto Group, Outdoor Industry Association, Patagonia, Pentland Brands, REI, TAL Apparel, Target, Timberland, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Verit, VF Corp, and Walmart.