Sustainable Apparel Coalition Rebrands as Cascale

“A new era of impact for global apparel and consumer goods”
The global nonprofit alliance, empowering collaboration to drive equitable and restorative business practices in the consumer goods industry, retains its mission and expands its reach; co-founder Rick Ridgeway to speak at celebratory event in London

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February 26, 2024 16:55 Korea Standard Time

AMSTERDAM & HONG KONG & OAKLAND, CALIF.--(Business Wire / Korea Newswire)--The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) enters a new phase of positive impact, rebranding as Cascale, a global nonprofit alliance that empowers collaboration to drive equitable and restorative business practices in the consumer goods industry. Spanning over 300 retailers, brands, manufacturers, governments, academics, industry associations, and NGOs/nonprofits around the globe, Cascale’s members are united by a singular vision: To catalyze impact at scale and give back more than they take to the planet and its people. With members and “founding father” Rick Ridgeway, the organization will celebrate the change at a networking event in London on February 27.

“Cascale’s vision reflects my mission to inspire responsible businesses that commit to transparency and benefit people and the planet,” said Rick Ridgeway, author, adventurer, former vice president of sustainability and public engagement at Patagonia, and Cascale’s co-founder. “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.”

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 moonlight or a mirrored reflection. The logo’s elements symbolize the organization’s three member categories, and external stakeholders, all critical players in advancing the unified strategy announced in September 2023. Cascale is pronounced “kæsk eɪl.”

“Over the years, this organization has consistently demonstrated commitment to living out its values and embracing change for collective good,” said Tamar Hoek, Cascale board chair and senior policy director at Solidaridad. “I am excited to continue my involvement as board chair at Cascale, alongside executives and staff, and work with members and partners in this exciting new chapter. This is the next evolution towards impact.”

“Collaboration is at the heart of creating positive change in the industry,” said Krishna Manda, Cascale vice chair and vice president, corporate sustainability at Lenzing Group. “Just as we’ve emphasized 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 organization in its next phase of development, building on the revised strategic plan. This is not just a transition; it’s a shared evolution towards a healthier and greener future for everyone.”


In 2009, Walmart and Patagonia founded the SAC to convene apparel industry stakeholders on a pre-competitive basis and develop a common approach to measuring sustainability. In 2010, the SAC launched the Higg Index suite of tools, which are used by businesses and organizations to measure, evaluate, and improve social and environmental impact in the textile, apparel, and footwear industry. Each year, over 24000 users rely on the Higg Index for improved benchmarking, reduced auditing, and proactive action. As home furnishings, sporting and outdoor goods, and bags and luggage companies began joining the SAC and using the Higg Index tools alongside existing corporate and non-corporate SAC members, the organization identified the need for a more expansive name: Cascale reflects its goal of scaling collective action. As of January 2024, 10 percent of Cascale’s members serve or operate in product categories adjacent to apparel and footwear.

“At Dunelm, we remain as ambitious as ever about being a company that focuses on growing sustainably,” said Christina Downend, head of climate change at Dunelm, a home furnishings retailer and Cascale candidate member. “This has meant combining long-term thinking with shorter-term, achievable, and measurable goals. The Cascale global community and Higg Index tools have helped us on that journey, not least as we develop initiatives such as our Better Manufacturing programme, where we are supporting and engaging our suppliers on their own transitions to net zero. Our goals cannot be met without collaboration and we are excited to be part of this community, to share knowledge and ideas so that we all make progress to fulfill our ambitions.”


Cascale drives impact at scale through three foundational pillars — Combat Climate Change, Decent Work for All, and Nature Positive Future — forming a unified strategy for industry transformation through collective action programs that guide members from action to impact. The Decarbonization Program, launched in 2022, is one leading example of these programs in action: It aims for members to achieve a 45 percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030. As of 2023, Cascale’s corporate members are required to set science-based targets (SBTs) for reducing GHG emissions; by the end of that year, when the organization launched the Manufacturer Climate Action Program (MCAP), over 50 percent of these members had set or committed to set SBTs.

Cascale is now building and expanding impact programs focused on responsible corporate practices, circular product design, and responsible manufacturing, while advocating for effective policy that aims to leverage collective action, making systemic change not just possible but inevitable.

“We know that synergies exist across industries and regions. Building on our experience and success in bringing together different actors across global apparel and footwear value chains to create shared tools and solutions, now is the time to expand our reach and engage a wider membership base to drive collective action at scale,” said Andrew Martin, executive vice president at Cascale. “Together, we are seeking to shape a consumer goods industry that gives back more than it takes to the planet and its people.”


Cascale continues to act on the belief that partnership is the new leadership. Traditional business models exacerbate rather than mitigate social and environmental problems; accepting the status quo is antithetical to the organization’s mission. Cascale works collaboratively to shift the industry from silos to collective action: With the Apparel Alliance (Apparel Impact Institute, Textile Exchange, ZDHC Foundation, and Cascale), Social & Labor Convergence Program, Policy Hub, Fair Wear Foundation, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH programs, and many others, Cascale continuously develops and supports initiatives that aim to catalyze impact at scale. Following its spin-off from the SAC in 2019, Worldly, the exclusive platform for the Higg Index tools, has become the leader in environmental and social impact data for the apparel and footwear industry.

“Stakeholders across the value chain prioritize sustainability performance aimed at industry-wide harmonization, reduction of duplicative efforts, and radical collaboration for tool, program, and policy adoption,” said Carolina van Loenen, director of stakeholder engagement at Cascale. “Our new name and branding reflect our expanded ability to increase our community’s collective impact. Cascale remains committed to embracing the diverse perspectives of our members, partners, and external stakeholders to align on meaningful action.”

Cascale’s rebrand announcement video is viewable here.


Cascale [] is the global nonprofit alliance empowering collaboration to drive equitable and restorative business practices in the consumer goods industry. Spanning over 300 retailers, brands, manufacturers, governments, academics, and NGO/nonprofit affiliates around the globe, we are united by a singular vision: To catalyze impact at scale and give back more than we take to the planet and its people. Formerly known as the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Cascale owns and develops the Higg Index and a unified strategy for industry transformation.

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Beatrice Thumi
Communications Officer

This is a news release distributed by Korea Newswire on behalf of this company.