Letter from Lewis Perkins on Covid-19
April 15, 2020
Hello friends and partners,
I know it’s been a challenging time for so many people around the world. Like many of you, Aii is monitoring global news closely, and our hearts go out to those who have been directly impacted by COVID-19. For now, the Apparel Impact Institute is suspending site visits for all facilities and will resume them when it is safe. We have not cancelled programs for 2020 but instead are leaning into the activities which occur outside the usual on-the-ground interactions.
We’re continuing our expansion of multinational brands involved in program-level facility improvement work, with twelve brands signed on to participate as of March and another thirteen brands evaluating participation plans. The programming includes a growing portfolio of supply chain offerings with the majority of the work in wet-processing facilities, known to be hotspots for environmental impact reductions in the apparel supply chain.
Another positive update (because who couldn’t use some good news right about now?) is the confirmation that Stichting Doen committed funding to the Aii. Doen will be joining our other philanthropic partners, HSBC, IDH, and Schmidt Family Foundation to support Aii’s mission and programs for 2020. We are very grateful to Doen for recognizing the value of our work, and we thank all of our 2020 philanthropic and industry funders for their continued support.
While many things seem uncertain right now, Aii is staying the course. We are still here to help our partners meet their goals, and we look forward to supporting those teams make progress, with our team acting as an extension of theirs. We remain open to ideas if there are ways we can evolve to better meet the needs of the industry right now. If you have suggestions for how we can help, don’t hesitate to reach out.
We have our eye on the future, knowing there’s an opportunity to help rebuild this industry and create the world we want to see. In this time of contemplation, we all have an opportunity to double down on our commitment to collective action, bringing all partners together toward a common goal.
Lewis Perkins, Aii President