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SAC and Partnership for Sustainable Textiles Set out to Improve European Supply Chains

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) and the German Partnership for Sustainable Textiles are working together to heighten sustainability across the European garment sector.

The industry-wide nonprofit SAC and the Germany-based multi-actor partnership formed a strategic cooperation last week to improve working conditions and environmental protection in textile supply chains. The SAC and Partnership for Sustainable Textiles signed a letter of intent demonstrating a shared goal of aligning tools, requirements and verifications systems. As part of the strategic cooperation, European companies that are members of both initiatives can receive coherent guidance about implementing environmental and social sustainability practices in their supply chains.

“Working together with one of the leading global sustainability initiatives in the garment sector is an important step for the Textiles Partnership,” said Juergen Janssen, head of the secretariat of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles. “The strategic cooperation between our organizations will contribute to the harmonization of sustainability requirements for our member companies and create a level playing field across national borders.”

From 2018 to 2022, the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles and the SAC will collaborate according to the Organization for Economic Corporation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The OECD works to improve the quality of citizens’ lives, while the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights fosters states to respect, protect and fulfill fundamental freedoms worldwide. Members of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles and the SAC will potentially further align reporting systems and foster opportunities for a joint methodology to improve the European garment sector.

“We strongly believe that national and global initiatives are natural partners to face the immense sustainability challenges ahead,” said Baptiste Carrière-Pradal, SAC’s vice president of transparency. “With this strategic collaboration, we are enhancing harmonization between our initiatives, taking a necessary step toward a leaner industry with more efficient practices and, ultimately, creating greater impact throughout the supply chains.”

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SAC’s strategic cooperation with Partnership for Sustainable Textiles comes on the heels of its recent supply chain transparency efforts. In November, the SAC updated its Higg FEM tool to boost visibility and further reduce audit fatigue in apparel, footwear and textile supply chains. The Higg Facility Environmental Module was developed to standardize sustainability measurement for global factories. The tool enables factories to evaluate their sustainability performance and seamlessly disclose results with their supply chain partners. The tool could help industry members reduce their carbon footprint, increase transparency and engage in more fair labor practices.