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Ann Inc. Joins Industry Green Group

The New York-based owner of the Ann Taylor and Loft brands is the first women’s specialty retailer in the Sustainable Apparel Coalition.

Ann Inc. has joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition.

This story first appeared in the January 10, 2013 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The New York-based specialty retailer, owners of the Ann Taylor and Loft brands, is the first women’s specialty retailer to sign up and joins a roster that includes Gap Inc., H&M, Inditex, J.C. Penney Co. Inc., Kohl’s Corp., L.L. Bean, Marks & Spencer, Nordstrom Inc., Target Corp., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and numerous brands in the outdoor and active apparel sectors. The organization’s membership, dedicated to greater supply chain sustainability, also includes various brands, wholesalers, mills and other suppliers and trade groups and numbers about 70.

Ann shared the decision with members of its global supply chain during an annual company conference in Hong Kong. Included in the presentation were the Higg Index, adopted by SAC to help companies, including nonmembers, gauge the sustainability of products in their supply chain against competitors and industry benchmarks.

“Our focus on energy and water using the SAC’s Higg Index will allow us to set benchmarks and improvement goals while working collaboratively with our suppliers to demonstrate real improvements in performance on the ground,” said Jeannette Ferran Astorga, Ann Inc.’s vice president of corporate social responsibility. “As a company, we are committed to sustainability — it is reflected in our values and our clients’ expectations of us.”

Ann Inc., previously known as AnnTaylor Stores Corp., has been an early adopter of many CSR practices. It instituted third-party monitoring of suppliers in 2002, an extensive green initiative in 2007 and, to guide its suppliers, AT Connect in 2008. Information on its CSR activities is available at the responsiblyann.com Web site, launched in 2010.