The American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA), alongside the Accessories Council, the Council of Fashion Designers of America and Fashion Makes Change, have all expressed support for California’s proposed new greenhouse gas emissions law.

The new law, introduced by California senators Scott Wiener and Lena Gonzalez and Henry Stern, will require any corporation with more than $1bn in gross revenues operating in the US state to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions publicly and at least annually.

The information would need to be shared on the organisation’s website listing emissions of greenhouse gases, criteria pollutants and toxic air contaminants for each of its facilities, starting in January 2025.

The proposed law, called SB 253, is said to be compatible with AAFA’s THREADS protocol, which is aimed at assisting policymakers in ensuring successful solutions to advance sustainability and social responsibility in the fashion industry.

Chelsea Murtha, AAFA director of sustainability tells Just Style exclusively: “The display of support for SB 253 is encouraging as we step forward on corporate carbon accountability, broader ESG initiatives, and the circular economy. Special thank you to the leadership of California’s Sen. Scott Wiener and colleagues for shaping smart, THREADS Protocol-approved, policy.”

According to the THREADS Protocol, any proposed regulation or legislation should be:

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  • transparently developed and enforced
  • harmonised across jurisdictions and industries
  • realistic timelines
  • enforceable
  • adjustable
  • designed for success
  • science-based

In a letter of support, the organisations say the proposed bill meets these requirements.

The letter says: “SB 253 would break new ground on ambitious climate policy, but more importantly, because it is compatible with the THREADS Protocol, we believe the legislation will be effective in meeting its objectives. The structure of SB 253’s disclosure requirements will help companies, investors, and the State better understand emission output, and strengthen the ability of companies across industries to strategise and combat costly risks associated with climate change. For these reasons, we support SB 253.”

AAFA’s president and CEO Steve Lamar adds: “The continual warming of our planet poses a significant risk to our industry and our communities. We believe it is essential that we work together, pre-competitively, to ensure that the industry plays its part in meeting our climate change targets. AAFA’s support for this bill means we are confident the bill meets the THREADS protocol criteria.”

The proposed SB 25 law comes shortly after California’s new Responsible Textile Recovery Act 2023, which would have required producers to establish a stewardship programme for the collection and recycling of “covered products,” and was delayed earlier in 2023 following concerns raised by the AAFA and other organisations.

Apparel brands based in California, which will potentially be impacted by the new law if it comes into force, include Gap, American Apparel, Levi Strauss, Banana Republic, Allbirds and Guess, amongst others.

As mentioned in the proposed SB253 Bill, California is currently on track to become the world’s fourth-largest economy and is a desirable location for some of the world’s most profitable companies. However, the state has also seen the impact of climate change in recent years through “devastating wildfires, sea level rise, drought and other impacts”.