Sustainable Apparel Coalition announces commitment to adopt and broaden work of the Eco Index

The European Outdoor Group (EOG) welcomes the announcement of the formation of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and the Coalition’s adoption of the work of the outdoor industry’s Eco Index. From the beginning the aim with the Eco Index has been the creation of a single, common index for apparel that drives change within the outdoor industry supply chain and broadens the Eco Index work to allow for adoption in the broader apparel and footwear sectors.

Following three years of work by the outdoor industry, the Eco Index was released in July of 2010 and has been piloted by more than 100 companies. The development of the Eco Index is due to the hard work of outdoor industry companies whose thought leadership in the area of sustainable manufacturing has produced robust, transparent and open-source content which is being adopted by other sustainability efforts.

Mark Held, Secretary General of the European Outdoor Group commented, “The European outdoor industry should be extremely proud of the work that has gone in to making the Eco Index a tool that is appropriate to a much wider audience. The outdoor industry is committed to the development of a single, common index for apparel and footwear. In Europe we have also been leading on two additional efforts to support the international industry, the SIGNs webtool launched at ispo in February, which will help all companies to find a way through the myriad of labels, standards and regulations; and an industry End of Life solution that will be launched at OutDoor in the Summer.”

During 2011, members of the EOG’s Sustainability Working Group will have the opportunity to pilot the initial version of the Coalition’s apparel tool and to participate in the development of a tool specific to footwear. The EOG is also committed to its partnership with the Outdoor Industry Association, FESI, World Federation of Sporting Goods Industries and other groups to improve the Eco Index content based on feedback from the piloting process, to share these updates with the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and to further enhance the Eco Index’s application for outdoor gear such as tents, backpacks, climbing and paddling gear, bicycles, skis and camping gear.

To read about Tuesday’s announcement from the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, visit www.apparelcoalition.org.