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Knitting / Apparel

SAC Launches Higg Index

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) — a global organization that aims to promote sustainable and socially responsible practices among apparel and footwear producers, and reduce the global environmental and social impacts of their products — has launched the Higg Index, a tool for measuring product sustainability across the industry value chain.

Developed by SAC members -— including, among others, the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) Sustainability Working Group, Boulder, Colo., and Nike, Beaverton, Ore. — the Higg Index is based on established evaluation tools including the OIA Eco Index and Nike's Materials Assessment Tool. Its launch comes after a year of beta testing to measure the sustainability impact of some 150 products from more than 63 companies.

The index's current version offers a transparent, open-source tool to measure the environmental impact of apparel in the categories of water usage and quality, energy and greenhouse gas, waste, chemicals, and toxicity. The SAC is refining the tool and plans to release an updated version in 2013 that incorporates key social and labor metrics. Future iterations will cover footwear and gear.

September/October 2012