ANN Inc., the parent company of Ann Taylor and LOFT, has joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and will use the group’s sustainability index to drive environmental responsibility throughout its supply chain.
ANN Inc. is the first women’s specialty retailer to join the SAC. It shared the announcement at its Global Vendor Conference, the company’s annual summit for global supply chain vendors, held in Hong Kong.
The company used the conference to share its supply chain environmental program with its vendors. The program includes the use of the SAC’s sustainability index, known as the Higg Index, with a priority focus on energy and water management. ANN Inc. says that focusing on water will reduce compliance risk and drive water management best practices, as well as prepare the supply chain for future constraints in water availability.
By signing on to the SAC, ANN joins brands, retailers and manufacturers – including Nike, Target, Walmart, JC Penney and Levi’s – as well as government, non-profits and academic experts, all aiming to improve supply chain sustainability in the clothing industry. The Higg Index, unveiled by the SAC last July, is an indicator-based tool for apparel that allows clothing manufacturers and brands to evaluate material types, products, facilities and processes based on a range of environmental and product design choices.
ANN Inc. also says that it will leverage its existing supplier capacity building platform, known as AT Connect, to provide its suppliers with sustainability best practices. The company says its collaboration with its suppliers has already shown that energy efficiency provides cost savings potential across suppliers’ facilities while driving improved carbon emissions.