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February 10, 2022

Organic Cotton Accelerator joins Sustainable Apparel Coalition

The Organic Cotton Accelerator (OCA) has joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) to help drive what it calls the necessary changes across the supply chain.

By Fi Forrest

A multi-stakeholder organisation, the Organic Cotton Accelerator (OCA) says by joining the SAC, OCA continues its commitment to a collaborative sector approach to “unleash the organic cotton effect” – organic cotton’s potential for positive impact, from field to fashion, for people and the planet.

It adds the move will also help OCA to promote and pursue its 2030 Strategy which aims to create resilient farming communities and ecosystems for a futureproof 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 Programme in India and Pakistan in efforts to shape the development of robust environmental and social impact goals.

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

The SAC recently celebrated its first decade of progress, culminating in its signature achievement — the completion of the Higg Index, a suite of tools for the standardised measurement of value chain sustainability. It says these tools have the potential to transform the apparel industry, providing the building blocks necessary to help make smarter and more informed decisions about the products we make, how we make them, and how we partner together to reduce social and environmental impacts.

As a member of the SAC, OCA will contribute both 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, OCA can move the dial when it comes to the necessary changes that are needed across the supply chain,” says Thomas Mason, OCA programme manager, sustainability, and impact. “Being a farmer centric organisation, 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.”

SAC executive director Amina Razvi adds: “We welcome the addition of OCA to the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and look forward to its participation in this industry-wide effort in sustainability. Having OCA as a member widens the scope of our impact within the industry and accelerates the change we’re making towards responsible industry actions.”

The SAC recently set forth a 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 sector-wide emissions by almost half by 2030 and promoting safe and fair working conditions across the global value chain.

Meanwhile, the Organic Cotton Accelerator recently welcomed Pakistan denim manufacturer Soorty and Hong Kong-based fashion brand Esprit as its latest contributors.

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