Sustainable Apparel Coalition Pauses Amid Regulatory Crackdown of Environmental Product Labels
“To better understand how to validate product level claims with trusted and verifiable data,” the organisation will “stop the consumer facing transparency programme internationally,” according to chief executive Amina Razvi.
The Higg Materials Sustainability Index (MSI), whose data and techniques support its environmental claims and have come under regulatory scrutiny and criticism, also underwent an urgent third-party examination.
The announcement comes just over a year after the Sustainable Apparel Coalition launched its first consumer-facing product tool, which was designed to show consumers how clothing made from organic cotton performs in comparison to clothing made from regular cotton on environmental metrics like water usage and carbon emissions.
The SAC’s decision to discontinue the programme follows a June 16th decision by the Norwegian Consumer Authority (NCA), which found that Norrna, a manufacturer of outerwear, could no longer use the tool to market its products due to concerns that it might deceive consumers and criticism of the validity of the comparable data supporting the claims. Similar cautions were issued over the use of similar claims in H&M Group’s marketing.
The SAC, which was created in 2010 with the goal of creating a uniform framework for sustainability reporting in the garment sector, suffered greatly as a result of the NCA’s regulatory decision. It has more than 250 members, including H&M Group, Inditex, Kering, and PVH, four titans of the market.