SAC and the IAF have signed a Memorandum of Understanding which looks to streamline social and environmental assessments that often impose unnecessary burdens on manufacturers.

The strategic alliance acknowledges the distinct strengths, skill sets, and expertise of each organisation, fostering complementary solutions, industry roadmaps, and frameworks that aim to amplify the voices, involvement, and influence of manufacturers.

The partnership will ensure that manufacturers have a say in the development of policies and legislative initiatives impacting the supply chain, both at the regional, national, and global levels. They will also collaborate to promote responsible purchasing practices throughout the industry.

Andrew Martin, executive vice president at SAC, said: “We believe this collaboration will enable us to harness our collective strength in our work on areas from decarbonisation, to purchasing practices and more, and will see us co-create solutions that drive rapid progress at scale.

“We are at a critical point for our planet and now more than ever, we must work together to solve the industry’s most urgent and systemic issues, and doing all we can to elevate manufacturer voices and perspectives is essential not only for the SAC but our industry as a whole.”

According to SAC, the textile and apparel industry, responsible for approximately 8% of annual global greenhouse gas emissions, acknowledges the urgency of addressing climate change.

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Both IAF and SAC have committed to working together on projects and initiatives to reduce carbon emissions in alignment with internationally recognised targets.

Matthijs Crietee, secretary general at the IAF, said: “We have embarked on an ambitious program to create structural links between such global initiatives as the SAC and the global apparel manufacturing community that IAF represents.

“The IAF is pleased that SAC clearly shares our view on the importance of structurally including apparel manufacturers’ voices and perspectives when designing solutions to create a more sustainable industry. Organising the inclusion of manufacturers is not only the just way forward, but also simply imperative to achieve the necessary results as an industry.”

This collaboration aligns with the SAC’s recently launched strategic plan, which focuses on “evolution for impact” – a theme that drives its strategies, initiatives, and partnerships, building on its accomplishments over the past decade. SAC said the partnership reinforces its dedication to achieving a sustainable future and harmonises with its overarching objectives.

SAC published the first of three reports (27 September) based on the findings of its Higg Index Review, in a bid to incorporate new industry developments and drive collaborative action.

The International Apparel Federation (IAF) recently launched the ‘Gateway to Europe’ platform to provide what it called a comprehensive export support solution for fashion companies to navigate the European market successfully.