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Sustainable Apparel Coalition rebrands as Cascale

By Simone Preuss


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The Sustainable Apparel Coalition is now Cascale. Credits: Cascale

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) announced late on Monday evening that is has rebranded as Cascale, “a global nonprofit alliance that empowers collaboration to drive equitable and restorative business practices in the consumer goods industry”.

It currently comprises of more than 300 retailers, brands, manufacturers, governments, academics, industry associations, and NGOs/nonprofits across 36 countries. The name ‘Cascale’ puts emphasise on the scaling aspect, reflecting the organisation’s goal to scale collective action in the consumer goods industry.

“The ‘Cas’ in Cascale is ‘SAC’ reversed, while ‘CA’ refers to ‘collective action,’ and ‘scale’ references scaled ambitions. The ‘C’ in Cascale evokes a new ‘phase’ similar to lunar cycles in nature, as well as a moonlight or mirrored reflection. The elements of the logo represent our three member categories and our external stakeholders, who all play a critical role in our shared success,” explains the non-profit in a press release.

Cascale to scale collective action in the consumer goods industry

SAC was founded in 2009 by Walmart and Patagonia to bring apparel industry stakeholders together and develop a common approach to measuring sustainability. In 2010, with leadership from American mountaineer and adventurer Rick Ridgeway, the organisation launched the Higg Index suite of tools, which will retain its name. According to the organisation, the five tools - the Higg Facility Environmental Module, Higg Facility Social & Labor Module, Higg Brand & Retail Module, Higg Materials Sustainability Index and Higg Product Module — are used by 24,000 businesses and organisations.

“Cascale’s vision reflects my mission to inspire responsible businesses that commit to transparency and benefit people and the planet,” says co-founder Ridgeway, who is also former vice president of sustainability and public engagement at Patagonia. “Its enduring collaborative spirit and unwavering commitment to sustainability has delivered tremendous impact – but we still have work to do, together. As Cascale evolves to address the needs of a broader scope of consumer goods beyond apparel and footwear, I’m proud to celebrate this new vision of an organization that is close to my heart.”

Cascale will now build and expand impact programs focused on responsible corporate practices, circular product design and responsible manufacturing. It will also advocate for “effective policy that aims to leverage collective action, making systemic change not just possible but inevitable”. 

As part of The Decarbonization Program, launched in 2022, members pledge to achieve a 45 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 2030. As of 2023, Cascale’s corporate members are required to set science-based targets (SBTS) for reducing GHG emissions; as of September 2023, 50.7 percent of members had set and or committed to SBTs. 

“Collaboration is at the heart of creating positive change in the industry. Just as we have emphasised before, no single player can drive this alone. Cascale’s impactful work has set the stage for a transformative journey. We are thrilled to continue supporting the organisation in its next phase of development, building on the revised strategic plan. This is not just a transition; it is a shared evolution towards a healthier and greener future for everyone,” comments Krishna Manda, Cascale vice chair and vice president, corporate sustainability at Lenzing Group.

Going forward, Cascale promises programs focused on responsible corporate practices, circular product design and responsible manufacturing, as well as evolving membership requirements.

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Sustainable Apparel Coalition