The University of Delaware’s Sustainable Apparel Initiative (UDSAI)

University of Delaware’s Sustainable Apparel Initiative offers ten policies for apparel brands and retailers to implement into their business practices. Click here to learn more about the policies and the initiative. Although all ten policies are crucial considerations for sustainable practices, “Policy 5: Consider and implement end-of-life strategies (recycle, renew, or reuse) when choosing materials, designing, and producing apparel”  pays particular attention to design through suggested best practices in both material and design assembly considerations. In the context of socially responsible fashion design education, how can these policies be integrated into your fashion curriculum? Early next week, Social Alterations will be opening a members based discussion forum for fashion and apparel educators to ask questions and share ideas on how to best approach social and environmental concerns within the industry in their design classrooms. I hope you will join in on the conversation and share your ideas with this community.

Press Release: UD publishes sustainable apparel business guidelines

What does it mean for a clothing or footwear company to be environmentally sustainable? Browsing some brands’ Web sites, you might think a company can lessen its impact on the environment just by using organic cotton in some of its clothing. But it’s not that simple.

The University of Delaware’s Sustainable Apparel Initiative (UDSAI) is demystifying the process of becoming more environmentally sustainable for brands and retailers. Companies seeking this information are invited to read and utilize UDSAI’s recently produced policy guide, “Creating a More Environmentally Sustainable Apparel Business: Policies for Apparel Brands and Retailers.”

“Sustainability is the ‘buzz’ throughout all industries. The problem is there is no clear definition of what this means,” said Rick Horwitch of Bureau Veritas Consumer Products Services. Bureau Veritas is an international firm that helps clients comply with standards and regulations relating to quality, health and safety, environment and social responsibility.

“I applaud the University of Delaware for taking on this daunting task of trying to put some structure and context around this very important issue. UDSAI will help bring clarity and direction,” Horwitch said.

University of Delaware faculty and students collaborated with industry professionals involved with environmental sustainability to research best practices.

“The apparel industry is predicated on change and planned obsolescence, which often results in overconsumption and waste throughout the value chain,” said Huantian Cao, UD associate professor of fashion and apparel studies and co-director of UDSAI. “UDSAI attempts to provide some simple guidelines that, when followed, will result in a more sustainable company.”

Source: UD News Releases

Mary has a PhD in Sociology from University of Edinburgh, researching responsible fashion and transnational labour rights activism in the wake of the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh.

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