This event, the first in-person since 2019, aimed to address urgent systemic issues relating to human rights and the climate crisis.

Collective Action on Common Ground was the theme for the two-day meeting, which began with a keynote speech from SAC CEO Amina Razvi.

She said: “We need to establish, listen for and emphasise the shared objective. Finding this common ground is essential because, without it, we can’t move forward. It’s industry versus activists, natural vs synthetic, growth vs degrowth, global north vs global south. 

“We will not succeed in solving systemic challenges if we are stuck in the same loops, unwilling and unable to move forward from entrenched positions. Instead, we need to learn how to embrace feedback and transform it into opportunities, always moving towards our shared objectives – creating the delicate balance between advocating and listening.”

Elsewhere during the event, Anne Patricia Sutanto from the International Apparel Federation called for action, saying: “Supply chains can only do so much. At the end of the day, we need brands and customers to engage in better buying and wearing practices, if we want to truly ensure no one is left behind.”

Other industry leaders present at the event included VF Corporation Vice President of Global Sustainability Jeannie Renne-Malone, Norwegian Consumer Authority Head of Section Tonje Drevland, speakers from H&M, the Carbon Disclosure Project, the FairWear Foundation and the IPCC and more.

The meeting also served to highlight how SAC members are using its suite of tools, including the FEM (Facility Environmental Module), BRM (Brand & Retail Module) and the Higg Material Sustainability Index.

The next SAC Annual meeting is planned to take place in Boston in the U.S. in October 2023.