By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 12:44 PM

Looking to find environmentally friendly clothing manufacturers?

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) is a good place to start. SAC is a trade organization made up of members which represent more than a third of the apparel and footwear market around the world. One of SAC’s goals is to reduce the environmental impact of apparel and footwear worldwide. SAC uses a suite of tools called The Higg Index to evaluate environmental impact of facilities, brands, and products.

You can find a list of current members of SAC here.

SAC’s desired outcomes focus on improvements in the following areas:
Water Use & Quality
·  Improve water-use efficiency and/or re-use in cultivation or production of raw materials (e.g. cotton) and the manufacturing of apparel products
·  Minimize the volume and chemical constituents of water discharges associated with manufacturing of apparel products and eliminate impacts to local communities
·  Reduce the need for water use in garment care by challenging conventional washing practices and developing alternative approaches
Energy & Emissions
·  Minimize direct and embedded energy use and carbon in apparel products
·  Drive innovative design and technology to create apparel products that mitigate other carbon impacts in society (such as reducing the need for heating and air conditioning systems)
Waste
·  Develop effective uses for textile waste, creating a second life for materials
·  Commit to minimizing waste in our operations, supply chain, and end-of-life of apparel products
Chemicals & Toxicity
·  Reduce the use of chemicals and potentially hazardous materials which pose health or environmental risks if not properly handled in cultivation or production of raw materials, and the manufacturing of apparel products
Social and Labor
·  Collaborate with industry peers and supply chain partners to achieve full life cycle transparency (back to origin of material) about the social and ethical performance impacts of all companies and products
·  All workplaces are fair, safe, and non-discriminatory, including zero exposure to toxic chemicals
(Source: http://www.apparelcoalition.org/desired-outcomes/)

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