Sometimes buying into the apparel industry isn’t such a bad thing. Do you regularly don a pair of Nike shoes? How much of your closet consists of clothes from the Gap, H&M, Target or Walmart? These businesses all have a wonderful thing in common. They are members of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition.
This HUB member company brings over 80 leading apparel and footwear brands, retailers, suppliers, nonprofits and NGOs together to reduce the environmental and social impacts of apparel footwear products around the world. That should bring a spring in your fashionably-footed step!
The science is simple. Using the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s free tool, The Higg Index, any apparel company in the industry can self-assess their sustainability and environmental impact. The Index asks practice-based, qualitative questions enabling companies to evaluate material types, products, facilities and processes based on a range of environmental and product design choices and drive behavior for improvement.
It’s quickly becoming best-practice in the industry. Since the Coalition’s incorporation in 2011, the use of the index as the standard for metrics has grown to over one-third of the industry. Executive Director Jason Kibbey said, “This is about industry transformation so everyone can benefit from reduced risk as well as efficiency.”
What’s the next step for the coalition? “We want to scale the [Higgs Index] up. We want to use the tool more,” said Kibbey. With a design on growing the membership and increasing the index’s features, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition personnel has needed to grow since opening their HUB offices in March of 2012. “We started with two employees, and now have nine,” said Jason. They certainly have a lot on their hands as they prepare for their Annual Meeting in San Francisco this June. Over 250 participants from the footwear and apparel industry are anticipated at the meeting.
Here’s how you can help. The Coalition needs volunteers for the June Meeting. They want it to be the most successful one, yet. If it means something for the social good, where can you go wrong? Send an email Laura Helland at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more information.
Now, sit back in that comfy pair of slippers from Kohl’s, take a look at the Sustainable Apparel Coalition members and make your list of coalition-approved companies for this weekend’s shopping.
Ruth Braden is a HUB storyteller. Follow her at @ruthbraden