The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) announced today that Wrangler joined the organization in an effort to strengthen supply-chain sustainability. Roian Atwood, director of sustainability at Wrangler, explained that TSC provides a gateway to what’s most critical in the supply chain and to a community of fellow practitioners across industries.
Wrangler will use key performance indicators established by TSC to track their progress in social and environmental sustainability, and will work on making the needed reforms intelligible to suppliers.
Atwood explained that sometimes there is a gap in understanding between companies and suppliers when requesting factory data. In order to avoid errors in communication, he said it is important for companies to educate as they track and measure. To create a common discourse, Wrangler does specific in-country training with the suppliers.
TSC CEO Sheila Bonini said in a release, “We are delighted to welcome a powerhouse brand like Wrangler to The Sustainability Consortium. Wrangler will bring tremendous influence, expertise and leadership to the goal of creating sustainable apparel.” She continued, “The Wrangler team is already engaged in the work of our Clothing, Footwear and Textiles group. Their commitment is a great endorsement of the impact that TSC is having in the sector and beyond.”
Wrangler is tackling many issues within sustainability. For their water protection program, the brand is working on reducing consumption, restoring quality and water reuse. Other areas of concentration include waste reduction and the goal to have 100 percent renewable energy by 2025.
In addition to this work, Wrangler also sources about 50 percent of its fabric and cotton from the United States—a fact that isn’t really advertised. “I think we’re a quiet leader,” Atwood said. Wrangler doesn’t yet have a program in place to communicate their efforts in sustainability to the public; they have been managing their sustainability efforts internally, in order to prove their commitment and form a platform for moving forward.
However, Atwood said information on sustainability is increasingly in demand as more consumers become interested in the supply chains behind their clothing. Though the TSC does not provide resources suitable for consumer reach-out, they do help in communication with retailers, and Atwood said it will ultimately fall to retailers to explain sustainable efforts to the public.