Interactive Tool Provides Greater Insight into Materials Assessment Scores Used in the Higg Index

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) has launched the Materials Sustainability Index (MSI) web tool as a new component to the Higg Index suite of sustainability tools for the apparel and footwear industries. This interactive new platform visualizes and compares the quantitative section of the MSI scores used in the Higg Index. The goal of the MSI web tool is to dramatically increase transparency into how the quantitative scores of the MSI are derived, as well as allow a means for anyone in the public domain to submit new data to the SAC to improve the quality of the scores. It is open-source, allowing users to contribute new data, help improve the quality of current data and access the data underlying the MSI scores. The MSI web tool can be viewed at   

The MSI is a cradle-to-gate index informed by life cycle assessment (LCA)- derived inventory data, intended to engage designers and the global supply chain of apparel and footwear products in environmental sustainability. The MSI web tool integrates and visualizes MSI data and methodology, and enables the SAC and other stakeholders to submit, review, publish and compare MSI data and scores. Users are encouraged to explore and compare all MSI scores in the tool, with the understanding that these scores account for 50% of the MSI total scores, and should not be used in isolation for selecting environmentally preferable materials. A complete assessment of materials should be done using the Higg Index Product Module, which includes the MSI qualitative scores.  As more organizations in the footwear and apparel value chain have an opportunity to use and share materials data, the MSI will become a mechanism to promote data transparency and collaboration across the industry, and drive systemic change towards materials sustainability.

The MSI was originally created by Nike and is a result of more than eight years of materials research and analysis. In 2012, it was incorporated into the Higg Index 1.0 and combined with qualitative attributes to assess materials and supplier sustainable practices in the apparel and footwear supply chain.

"We are very excited to launch this new MSI platform, as it will allow people to use, understand and contribute to the data collected on the index in a completely different way, " said Jason Kibbey, Executive Director for the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. "Nike has been instrumental in this process and we are fortunate for their confidence in the SAC as an impartial editor and aggregator of MSI data."

The SAC invites organizations to submit data on the environmental performance of materials for evaluation for inclusion in the MSI. The deadline for submissions is June 30, 2013.  Any submissions received after this date will be held until the next review cycle, expected to begin in Q1 2014. The SAC's Higg Index 2.0 will compute sustainability scores in part from the data compiled through the updated MSI.

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:

Adidas, Aid By Trade Foundation, American Apparel & Footwear Association, Ann Inc., Artistic Milliners, Arvind Mills, ASICS, Avery Dennison, Bayer Materials Science, Burberry, Bureau Veritas, C&A, Caux Round Table, Charming Trim, Columbia Sportswear, Control Union Certifications, Clariant, The Coca-Cola Company, Cotton Inc., CRAiLAR, Crystal Group, Danish Fashion Institute, Duke Center for Sustainability and Commerce, DuPont, DyStar, Environmental Defense Fund, Esprit, Esquel Group, European Outdoor Group, Fairtrade International, Fenix Outdoor, FLO-CERT, Gap Inc., Gildan, Green Earth Cleaning, H&M, HanesBrands, Hellmann Worldwide Logistics,  Hirdaramani Group, Hong Kong Non-Woven Fabric Ind., Huntsman, IC Companys, INDITEX, International Wool Textile Organisation, Intradeco, Invista, JC Penney, Kohl's Department Stores, Lenzing, Levi Strauss & Co., Li & Fung Limited, L.L.Bean, Inc., Loomstate, MADE-BY, Madura Fashion & Lifestyle, Makalot Industrial Company, 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, Ramatex Group, Reckitt Benckiser, REI, Rubia Natural Colours, Saitex International, SGS, Solidaridad Network, Sustainable Fashion Business Consortium, The Swedish School of Textiles,  TAL Apparel, Target, Teijin Fibers Limited, Textile Exchange, Tiong Liong Corporation, Toray Industries, University of Delaware, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Utrecht University, Verite, VF Corp, Wah Fung Group, Walmart, WL Gore & Associates, and World Resources Institute.

Thank you for reading this fashion news article on the Fashion Newspaper.

If you are interested in more fashion relevant reports, you may want to visit the new fashion blog on the Apparel Search directory website.