24 outcomes of the sustainable apparel coalition

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2.4 Outcomes of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition Outcomes envisaged by the SAC include fi ve important areas of apparel or product manufacturing, as shown in Fig. 2 . The fi rst aspect, water use and quality, targets the improved ef fi ciency of water usage and reuse in the cultivation or production of raw materials and manufacturing of products. Its main feature is to minimize the ef fl uent load and quantity of water discharges associated with apparel manufac- turing and eliminate the impact on the neighboring environment and local com- munities. The development of alternatives to conventional washing practices are also considered to reduce the need for water use in garment care. The second outcome, energy and emissions, aims to minimize the use of direct and embedded energy and carbon in apparel products, with the intention of reducing the use of resources and greenhouse gases. It also aims to promote design and technology in the creation of apparel products that lessens carbon impacts, such as reducing the need to use heating and air conditioning systems. The Sustainable Apparel Coalition and the Higg Index 31
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Minimizing waste in all operations, the supply chain and the end stage of apparel products, as well as the effective use of textile waste as raw materials or recycling of waste for further use, is the third outcome. Generally, the use of chemicals in the apparel supply chain namely in the cultivation and production of raw materials and manufacturing of apparel products results in environmental and health haz- ards if these materials are not handled ef fi ciently. The fourth outcome is the reduction and effective management of chemicals and toxicity to safeguard the environment. The fi nal outcome deals with the human concern for fair, safe and nondiscriminatory workplaces, as well as to network with industry and supply chain partners to attain lifecycle transparency about the social and ethical performance of all companies and products (SAC 2012f ). 2.5 Membership Bene fi ts The bene fi ts of joining the SAC are many, as the apparel brands and products are evaluated by consumers using quality and benchmarking systems. These bene fi ts fall under three heads business value, leverage and leadership. When manufac- turers and business partners become aware of the measurement of sustainability performance, they will look out for ways to promote operational ef fi ciencies in energy, material and water use, thus resulting in bene fi ts in these areas of pro- duction and management of resources. The process of benchmarking performance with industry peers or against a set of standards will bring about a positive change in practices and technology. Rating performance using indexes will help to evaluate the supplier management practices and the risk areas for improvement and capacity building. The process of duplication and assessment fatigue can be avoided by collaborating on a single index and the resources spent in measuring and reporting can be reduced. Networking and sharing of best practices with other industry
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  • Corporate social responsibility, CSR Practices

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