A coalition of prominent clothing manufacturers, retailers, and environmental groups is creating a database to measure the environmental impacts of apparel production, with the goal of enabling shoppers to judge the sustainability of their favorite brands.
The Sustainable Apparel Coalition hopes the database — which will measure the impacts of every manufacturer, material, and process involved in the production of footwear and clothing — will help individual companies establish cleaner supply chains while also creating a sustainability score for consumers. Although the U.S. comprises 25 percent of the planet’s $340 billion clothing and shoe market, nearly all the raw materials came from somewhere else, according to the American Apparel and Footwear Association.
The Sustainable Apparel Coalition includes, among others, Wal-Mart, J.C. Penney, Target, Timberland, Nike, Hanes, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Environmental Defense Fund, Duke University, and the labor rights group, Verité. Using funds from member companies, the group expects to spend $2 million this year to develop the sustainability database.
Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.