Sustainable Apparel Coalition launches new sustainable products index
By Erik Siemers
The Sustainable Apparel Coalition made public Thursday its Higg Index, an online tool to help footwear and apparel developers better measure the social impacts of their products.
A trade group representing more than one third of the world's footwear and apparel market on Thursday unveiled a new sustainable production tool modeled after a pair of initiatives with Portland roots.
The Sustainable Apparel Coalition made public Thursday its Higg Index, a comprehensive open-source tool to help footwear and apparel developers better measure the social impacts of their products.
It was designed based on two established tools in the market.
One is Nike Inc.'s Environmental Apparel Design Tool, an index released by the Washington County sporting goods giant (NYSE: NKE) in November 2010 after $6 million in investment. The other is the Eco Index, a program launched last year by the Outdoor Industry Association backed by funds from the Portland Development Commission and piloted by several Portland-area brands, including Adidas America Inc., Columbia Sportswear Co., Keen Inc.,and Korkers Inc.
The Higg Index is an open-source tool that, in its current form, measures environmental outcomes such as water use, energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, waste, chemicals and toxicity. The Sustainable Apparel Coalition plans to refine the tool, with a future release slated for 2013 that's likely to include social and labor metrics.
"The Higg Index marks the most thorough and complete attempt at measuring environmental performance data from material sourcing through end of life," Sustainable Apparel Coalition Executive Director Jason Kibbey said in a news release. "We are confident it will have a positive impact on product sustainability over time, and become a model for how industries can collaborate in making a positive impact on value chain performance."
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