Sustainable Apparel Coalition Dramatically Improves Sustainability Measurement With The Higg Index 2.0

Updated Index Facilitates Collaboration and Transparency within Apparel and Footwear Industries

Adds Web Interface and Social Impact Modules, Improves Environmental Content

Dec 11, 2013, 07:00 ET from Sustainable Apparel Coalition

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), a trade association comprised of brands, retailers, manufacturers, government and non-governmental organizations and academic experts, and representing more than a third of the global apparel and footwear market, today unveiled an updated version of the Higg Index, a sustainability measurement tool for the industry's supply chain. The Sustainable Apparel Coalition is committed to the continual improvements of the Higg Index, and the updated Higg Index 2.0 reflects 18 months of development effort.  It is available for industry review and use at

This latest iteration brings the Index to an online platform developed by Schneider Electric, adding the ability to share users' sustainability data, increase accuracy and add measurability for new materials and processes, allowing for greater transparency and validation. This ability to share information between the entire supply chain marks a first for sustainability measurement.

The Index has also expanded its sustainability coverage by adding modules to assess social and labor impacts for manufacturers and brands. Further, Higg Index 2.0 for the first time addresses footwear by adding a footwear brand module and allowing for footwear facility assessment within the facility module.  Lastly, the Index has improved upon its environmental content by improving brand and facility assessments and considering chemical impacts.

The Higg Index was introduced in 2012 to better measure the comprehensive environmental and social impacts of apparel and footwear products, and since then has allowed more than 100 companies to identify opportunities to reduce impacts and improve long-term sustainability.

"We are very excited to share this new version of the Higg Index with our members. Not only have we expanded the Index to be more comprehensive, but we've also added a new level of engagement where our members can interact and share knowledge and assessments on a level that hasn't been done before, and speed the adoption of sustainable measures within the value chain," said Sustainable Apparel Coalition Executive Director Jason Kibbey.

Added and improved content in the Higg Index 2.0 includes:

  • The Materials Sustainability Index (MSI) web tool, an apparel and footwear materials list released in June and since expanded to include sustainability metrics on 45 materials.
  • Content from the Chemicals Management Module (, which was co-created through a joint working group between the Outdoor Industry Association and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition.  The indicators from this work served as a key input into the improvements made in the Higg Index 2.0 on chemicals management.
  • New social and labor modules.  Social and labor impact content is currently in the beta content phase with plans to expand in future iterations of the Higg Index.

"This latest iteration of the Higg Index is a great next step for our members and for the industry as a whole.  The revisions and additions that we made in this new version significantly improve the way sustainability is assessed.  Also, we understand that successfully addressing sustainability requires a new form of collaboration, and the Higg Index 2.0 facilitates the engagement process.  For the first time ever, users can interact through our platform and share sustainability information with each other in a very quick and simple way. With this new tool, we have the leverage to reach the tens of thousands of organizations in the supply chain who may not even know what sustainability is," said Kibbey.

About the Sustainable Apparel Coalition:
The Sustainable Apparel Coalition, representing more than one-third of the global apparel and footwear industries, was formed by sustainability leaders and leading environmental and social organizations to address current social and environmental challenges. Recognizing that improved supply chain practices are both a business imperative and an opportunity, the Coalition seeks to lead a shared vision of industry supply chain sustainability through the creation and use of the Higg Index. In measuring and evaluating apparel and footwear product sustainability performance through the Higg Index, the Coalition aims to spotlight priorities for action and opportunities for technological innovation.

Members of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition:
AAFA, Adidas, Aid by Trade Foundation, Ann Inc, Artistic Milliners, Arvind Mills ASICS, Avery Dennison, Bayer MaterialScience, Better Cotton Initiative, Burberry Bureau Veritas, C&A, Caux Round Table, Clariant , Cohesive Trim, Columbia Sportswear, Control Union Certifications, Cotton, Inc., CWS-boco Group, Danish Fashion Institute, Desigual, Duke University Center for Sustainability & Commerce DuPont, DyStar, ECCO, EILEEN FISHER, Environmental Defense Fund, Esprit Esquel, European Outdoor Group, Fairtrade International, Fenix Outdoor Group FLO-CERT, Gap Inc., Gildan, GreenEarth Cleaning, GT Nexus, H&M, Hanes Brands Hellmann Worldwide Logistics, Hirdaramani Group, Hong Kong Non-Woven Fabric Ind. Co. Ltd., Huntsman, IC Companys, IDH, INDITEX, International Wool and Textile Organisation, Invista, JC Penney, KG DENIM, Kohl's Department Stores, L.L. Bean Inc. Lands End, Lenzing, Levi Strauss & Co., Li & Fung Limited, Loomstate, Lubrizol, lululemon, MADE-BY, Madura Fashion and Lifestyle, Makalot Industrial Company, Malwee, Marmot, MAS Holdings, ,Mountain Equipment Co-op, Natural Resources Defense Council, New Balance, Nike, Nordstrom, Novozymes, Oeko-Tex, Otto Group, Outdoor Industry Association, Patagonia, Pentland Brands, Pinneco Research Ltd., PPR, Pratibha Syntex Limited, PUMA, PVH, Ramatex Group, Reckitt Benckiser, REI Rubia, Saitex International, Sustainable Fashion Academy, Sustainable Fashion Business Consortium, SGS, Solidaridad, TAL Apparel, Target, Teijin Fibers Limited Textile Exchange, The Coca-Cola Company, The Crystal Group, The Swedish School of Textiles - University of Boras, Tiong Liong Corporation, Toray Industries U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, University of Cambridge, University of Delaware – Department of Apparel & Fashion Studies, Utrecht University, Verité, VF Corp, Wah Fung Group, Walmart, WL Gore & Associates, World Resources Institute, Xeros

SOURCE Sustainable Apparel Coalition