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The Sustainable Apparel Coalition updates Higg Index to better measure sustainability

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) and Higg Co have released a new version of the Higg Index, a leading tool to assess the environmental impact of materials in the apparel, footwear, and textile industry.

The Higg Index is a suite of tools that enables brands, retailers, and facilities of all sizes — at every stage in their sustainability journey — to accurately measure and score a company or product’s sustainability performance. The Index delivers a holistic overview that empowers businesses to make meaningful improvements that protect the well-being of factory workers, local communities, and the environment.

“The release of the updated Higg MSI is a big milestone for the industry because it provides more accurate and detailed information, allowing users to dive more deeply into material assessment,” Amina Razvi, executive director of the SAC, said in a press release. “With increased use and shared data, the Higg MSI will continue to evolve and become even stronger, helping to drive collective action.”

Key updates to the 2020 Higg MSI include: new interface offering an enhanced user experience; migration from a standalone website to the Higg.org platform, alongside other Higg tools; addition of a packaging library, comparisons, and customisation; addition of a trims and components library, comparisons, and customisation; ability to customise transportation distances and modes between processing steps; and new process level loss rates, ensuring material assessments include consideration for process efficiencies.

“The Higg MSI was developed specially for the textile industry through global industry-wide consensus. Before the Higg MSI, no tool in the apparel industry offered common criteria for life-cycle assessments, methodology, and procedures,” Hidenori Terai, general manager, fibers & textiles GR & LI business planning dept, Toray Industries, said in the release.

The Higg MSI captures how the five environmental impacts would change based on different raw material or production process options, such as switching from batch dyeing to continuous dyeing. In this example, users can see that the switch would typically reduce the amount of water and energy used when dyeing a fabric. Higg MSI users can also customise how their companies uniquely produce materials and use Higg MSI data to help them make more sustainable choices.

Image via Sustainable Apparel Coalition; Article source: Fibre2Fashion

Sustainable Apparel Coalition