SAC Response to IWTO Report

Higg Index logo over photo of three spools of thread
May 23, 2019

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) is the leading association dedicated to promoting an apparel, footwear, and textile industry that produces no environmental harm and promotes the well-being of the communities where it operates. The Coalition develops the Higg Index, a suite of tools that assess the social and environmental sustainability impacts of the global value chain. Since the Coalition’s founding, the Higg Index Product Roadmap has included a vision for a set of tools that assesses the entire value chain.

In a recent report, the International Wool Textile Organization (IWTO) called for the inclusion of product life-cycle impacts in the Higg Materials Sustainability Index (Higg MSI). The SAC has long recognized the importance and industry need for a tool that assesses these impacts. The Higg Product Module, which is currently in development, will serve this purpose, assessing the environmental impacts of completed products, while also accounting for consumer impacts.

The IWTO report also calls for the addition to the Higg MSI of a methodology that assesses the environmental impacts of microplastics. As the SAC has previously confirmed, it will include microplastics impacts in the Higg MSI as soon as a trusted methodology to assess the impacts is available.

To ensure the highest accuracy in Higg MSI data, the SAC encourages the industry to continuously submit new and updated life-cycle assessment (LCA) data. The Coalition urges organizations to share data with the SAC for the benefit of the entire industry. The SAC conducts the data assessments at a limited cost to contributors and makes the data publicly available for the benefit of the entire industry as well as external stakeholders. In addition, the Higg MSI data is updated approximately twice a year to include new data submissions and additional sources and to respond to customer feedback.

The SAC is the apparel, footwear, and textile industry’s leading alliance for sustainable production. The Coalition is proud to collaborate as an industry to develop the Higg Index, which delivers a holistic overview that empowers businesses to make meaningful improvements that protect the well-being of factory workers, local communities, and the environment.

Other Blogs