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OCA Links With SAC on Sustainable Cotton Farming

The Organic Cotton Accelerator (OCA) has joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) to support its commitment to a collaborative sector approach and promote organic cotton’s potential for positive impact on people and the planet.

Established in 2011, SAC is an industry-wide group of more than 250 apparel, footwear and textile brands, retailers, suppliers, service providers, trade associations, nonprofits, NGOs and academic institutions working to reduce environmental impact and promote social justice throughout the global value chain.

OCA said joining SAC will help to promote and pursue its 2030 strategy that aims to create resilient farming communities and ecosystems for the organic cotton sector. OCA will be working with SAC and expert members to align on insights and methodology in collecting and engaging data from OCA’s Farm Program in India and Pakistan in efforts to shape the development of robust environmental and social impact goals.

The SAC recently celebrated its first decade of progress, culminating in its signature achievement–completion of the Higg Index, a suite of tools for the standardized measurement of value chain sustainability. As a member of the SAC, OAC said it will contribute data and resources to support the Higg Index, which enables companies to proactively measure and manage issues like environmental stewardship, working conditions, and supplier relations.

“I believe that by joining global industry groups such as SAC, OCA can move the dial when it comes to the necessary changes that are needed across the supply chain,” said Thomas Mason, program manager for sustainability, and impact at OCA. “Being a farmer-centric organization, our focus is on improving the livelihoods of existing and transitioning organic cotton farmers across India and Pakistan. With the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, we can work collaboratively in improving the social and environmental impacts of farming using on the pulse scientific data from the Higg Index, which will bring a better understanding of sustainability and impact across our operations.”

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SAC executive director Amina Razvi said having OCA as a member widens the scope of SAC’s impact within the industry and “accelerates the change we’re making toward responsible industry actions.”

The SAC has set an ambitious new strategic plan with the mission to transform business for exponential impact. To achieve its plan, the SAC will be working with its members to strengthen industry accountability, with areas of focus such as reducing sectorwide emissions by almost half by 2030 and promoting safe and fair working conditions across the global value chain.