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SAC Joins With Social & Labor Convergence Project to Improve Garment Worker Conditions

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) has been named an accredited host of the Social & Labor Convergence Project (SLCP) framework that aims to advance an industry effort to improve conditions for garment workers.

The SAC, is an industry-wide group of more than 230 companies across the apparel and footwear supply chain that works to reduce the environmental and social impacts of products, is one of three organizations to be recognized as an SLCP Accredited Host. San Francisco-based SAC will incorporate the SLCP framework into its Higg Index suite of tools as the foundation of a new Higg Facility Social & Labor Module (Higg FSLM). The other organizations are Canada’s Assent Compliance and the Lexington, Mass.-based Fair Factories Clearinghouse.

The Higg Index suite of tools supports improved sustainability performance among factories, brands and retailers around the world to move the apparel and footwear industries toward greater protection of the  well-being of factory workers, local communities and the environment.

The SLCP began in Amsterdam in 2016 as a multi-stakeholder movement to improve the working conditions for garment workers in the global apparel and footwear supply chain in a cooperative manner. By uniting under a converged assessment, organizations can move beyond individually programs and take advantage of funds previously used on proprietary audits to be applied toward the development of  industry-wide solutions. The SLCP Converged Assessment Framework consists of a data collection tool and a verification methodology. The project has more than 180 signatories committed to using the converged assessment in their operations.

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“The sheer volume of audits has served to obscure the often unsafe and unhealthy conditions of the millions of garment workers throughout the supply chain,” SAC Interim-CEO Amina Razvi said. “By using Higg FSLM at scale, brands, retailers and manufacturers can assess their social impacts and strategically direct valuable resources towards efforts that meaningfully improve conditions for garment workers globally.”

All factories can complete a Higg FSLM self-assessment on the platform. Higg FSLM verification is currently only available in China and Sri Lanka, but plans call for verification services to expand to additional countries early this year.

In 2019, the SAC will develop a scored version of the Higg FSLM in line with the other Higg Index tools, offering factories and consumers increased benchmarking and transparency into the value chain. also hosts the SAC’s Higg Facility Environmental Module (Higg FEM), which assesses the environmental performance of a factory. offers SAC members and Higg Index customers the ability to share Higg Index results with business partners. Through the site’s easy to navigate online functionality, customers can benchmark data and set performance improvement targets.

The SAC seeks to lead the industry toward a shared vision of sustainability built upon a common approach for measuring and evaluating apparel, footwear and textile sustainability performance. It began as a partnership between Patagonia and Walmart and was incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 2010, The SAC launched the Higg Index suite of tools in 2011.