Log in

Register Subscribe

Article Index

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition has launched a new transparency roadmap, which will allow members to roll out previously confidential Higg Index scores to the general public. The move comes as the SAC membership pushes for greater transparency on Higg, in a bid for the tool to become the harmonised textile industry standard of choice for social and environmental improvement. John Mowbray reports.

So far the Sustainable Apparel Coalition has remained relatively quiet about its future plans for releasing Higg Index scores for public consumption, which has prompted concerns that its members have been slow to collect information – or are not keen on releasing data that can be held up to further scrutiny.

But Jason Kibbey, CEO of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, hopes these fears will now recede after an explicit decision was taken at last month’s annual SAC meeting in Copenhagen to rubber-stamp a new roadmap for the transparent release of all Higg data. The roadmap shows the first tranche of Higg facilities data will be released by mid-2018 and other data, from the brand tool and then the product tool, will be released afterwards, with 2020 seen as a final cut-off date for full public release of the Higg Index.

“We are committing to launch the Environmental and Social Modules for facilities in 2018, so that companies can release their own FEM (Facilities environmental module) scores and FSLM (Facilities Social Labour Module) scores,” Kibbey told Ecotextile News. “Before this happens, we need to do two things as part of the new roadmap – that is the next revision of Higg and also the verification steps. But we are firmly committed to that timeline and there will be a full data release by mid-2018.”

Data from the Facilities tool will be the first to be released since the SAC has more data on this part of Higg than the other two areas: the Brand tool slated for release in 2019 and the much more tricky Product tool, which will bring up the rear in 2020.

So what exactly will this look like? Kibbey says there is still room for experimentation in order to get it right. “It’s likely there will be some on-product information about scores, but facility data could be available in other ways. Perhaps some sort of interactive on-line map similar to the recently released sourcing map launched by Marks & Spencer.”

Until recently there was some trepidation about the release of Higg facilities data because there was no consistent way for it to be used by member companies, or the 6,000 facilities that have so far uploaded modules to the central Higg database.

Communication tool kit

Essentially, for each of the different assessments a ‘communication tool kit’ will be designed that will describe – and to some extent dictate – exactly how the released Higg scores will be used so that information is released in a consistent way. “We are in a position to provide a standardised, comparable way for the Higg scores to be used in public so data can all be used and interpreted in the same way,” said Kibbey.

But will be there a requirement to release all information ‘good and bad’? “We’re focusing on this in our guidelines,” he said, “An is why we are having governance around those guidelines so people do not just cherry pick the best and give a false impression of just one per cent of their supply chain. This will become part of the guidelines for use of the data.”

Latest News

  • Thursday, 17 January 2019

    Volcom launches 'farm to yarn' initiative

    COSTA MESA – US clothing company Volcom has announced the launch of a new sustainability-focused project in India called ‘Farm to Yarn’. In partnership with the social enterprise CottonConnect, the initiative focuses on growing certified organic…
  • Thursday, 17 January 2019

    Neonyt hosts UN in European trade show first

    BERLIN - The debut of Messe Frankfurt’s Neonyt show during Berlin Fashion Week has seen a wide variety of firsts, with none being more significant than the event hosting the UN’s inaugural European trade show exhibiton. Neonyt - which is the new…
  • Thursday, 17 January 2019

    Helvetas launches Organic Cotton Sourcing Guide

    BERLIN – Swiss development organisation Helvetas has launched an Organic Cotton Sourcing Guide, to coincide with Berlin Fashion Week’s ‘How hard is it to go organic?’ forum. The Guide – produced by Helvetas and the German Partnership for Sustainable…
  • Wednesday, 16 January 2019

    Report yields ‘sustainable fashion’ advice

    HONG KONG – KPMG has published the final conclusions of a consumer survey into sustainable fashion, which follow on from preliminary findings released in September. Polling was done in collaboration with the Hong Kong Fashion Summit and HSBC who…
  • Wednesday, 16 January 2019

    VIDEO: Planet Textiles Pod – Eco-friendly dyeing

    VANCOUVER – CEO and co-founder of Colorifix Orr Yarkoni is committed to making the future of dyeing less damaging for the environment. To some this may seem unrealistic, but Yarkoni is insistent that it’s not as difficult as it may seem. “It's…
  • Wednesday, 16 January 2019

    Bank & Vogue backs fibre recycling technology

    LONDON – Vintage apparel retailer Beyond Retro and its parent company Bank & Vogue have partnered with Swedish textile recycling company Re:newcell in a bid to introduce a closed loop production cycle and give new life to more than 90,000 pairs of…
  • Tuesday, 15 January 2019

    Lenzing opens Center of Excellence in Indonesia

    PURWAKARTA – Lenzing has opened a new Center of Excellence (LCOE) at its existing location in Indonesia, providing laboratory and analytical facilities to conduct trials and analyses of various types of fibres and yarns. New products will also be…
  • Tuesday, 15 January 2019

    Electrochemical indigo machine debuts in Pakistan

    KARACHI – Technical Color Solution, which supplies a range of technologies to the textile sector has teamed up with French textile machinery supplier Sedo Engineering to produce pre-reduced liquid indigo dyes using an electrochemical process. The…
  • Tuesday, 15 January 2019

    VIDEO: Planet Textiles Pod – Chemical management

    VANCOUVER – “I think the single most important thing the industry could do is converge upon one list of chemicals of concern.” Former NRDC senior scientist Linda Greer got straight to the point in her interview at last year’s Planet Textiles event,…
  • Monday, 14 January 2019

    Redress winner to partner with leading Chinese fashion brand

    CHINA - Hong Kong-based NGO Redress has launched the ninth edition of The Redress Design Award, which it says is the world’s largest sustainable fashion design competition. The winner will receive the chance to collaborate with JNBY Group – one of…
  • Monday, 14 January 2019

    Survey finds sustainability drives demand

    NEW YORK – More than two-thirds of consumers consider sustainability when making a purchase and are willing to pay more for sustainable products, a survey conducted by business application provider CGS has found.
  • Monday, 14 January 2019

    ILO praises Bangladesh minimum wage progress

    DHAKA – The Bangladesh office of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has said it is encouraged by the government’s decision to revisit the minimum wages for ready-made garment workers through an agreement made by a special tripartite…
  • Monday, 14 January 2019

    UK researchers evaluate denim laser etching potential

    MANCHESTER – An interdisciplinary research team at Manchester Metropolitan University has conducted an extensive evaluation process to determine the true levels of precision and performance that a carbon dioxide laser etching technique can deliver.…
  • Monday, 14 January 2019

    Polymer nanogel zaps bugs on textiles

    SHANGHAI – Scientists in China say they’ve developed a new anti-microbial finish for cotton textiles that uses a nanoscale polymer treatment based on guanidine, which both inhibits and kills bacteria using a novel method without the use of metals or…
  • Friday, 11 January 2019

    Brands converge efforts under ZDHC umbrella

    AMSTERDAM – In a major new collaborative approach to chemical management, ZDHC signatory brands Levi Strauss, Nike, H&M and C&A have come together to share and align their screened textile chemistry programmes and hand them over to the ZDHC for…
  • Friday, 11 January 2019

    VIDEO: Planet Textiles Pod – Deforestation

    VANCOUVER – Nicole Rycroft, CEO of CanopyStyle, is the latest industry figure to take to the Planet Textiles Pod to discuss the issues of deforestation and unsustainable sourcing practices within the apparel sector.
  • Friday, 11 January 2019

    NHL and Adidas collaborate for recycled fibre kits

    PORTLAND/NEW YORK – Sportswear giant Adidas has teamed up with the NHL (National Hockey League) to develop the league’s first-ever hockey jerseys to contain recycled materials. As part of the ongoing collaboration between the German sportswear brand…
  • Friday, 11 January 2019

    Fast fashion a global environmental injustice, report claims

    ST. LOUIS – A new report penned by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis claims that both the human and environmental health risks associated with fast fashion are “hidden throughout the lifecycle of each garment.” The study has also…
  • Friday, 11 January 2019

    La Sportiva pledges 1% for the Planet

    ZIANO DI FIEMME – Mountaineering apparel company La Sportiva has announced its membership of the 1% for the Planet initiative, meaning it will now donate one per cent of its global apparel sales revenue to environmentally-focused not for profit…
  • Thursday, 10 January 2019

    Transparency scare as Boohoo ‘faux fur’ found to be real

    MANCHESTER – The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled that a Faux Fur Pom Pom Jumper sold by online fashion retailer Boohoo breached its code by allegedly containing real animal fur mislabelled as fake. The issue came to the ASA’s…
  • Thursday, 10 January 2019

    ASOS and PVH link up with Global Fashion Agenda

    COPENHAGEN – ASOS and PVH Corp have been revealed as the two latest apparel companies become strategic partners of the Global Fashion Agenda, to “provide expert opinion to shape the sustainability agenda.” They join brands such as Nike and H&M as…
  • Thursday, 10 January 2019

    French brands urge Bangladesh PM to extend Accord

    PARIS – On behalf of a group of French brands and retailers, including luxury department store chain Galeries Lafayette Group, ICS (Initiative for Compliance and Sustainability) has written to the Bangladesh Prime Minister to make the case for…
  • Thursday, 10 January 2019

    MADE-BY assets acquired following liquidation

    MACCLESFIELD – Anthesis Group has announced the acquisition of several key assets from non-profit MADE-BY, which went into administration during the final quarter of 2018. Anthesis, which describes itself as a sustainability and solutions provider,…
  • Thursday, 10 January 2019

    Survey highlights lack of trust in fashion giants

    LONDON – A new international research poll released today by Ipsos MORI indicates that most shoppers hold apparel brands accountable for what happens in their supply chains, but do not trust them to self-police or communicate accurately what is…
  • Wednesday, 09 January 2019

    ETI inquiry submission challenges Boohoo “inaccuracies”

    LONDON – The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) has made a submission to the UK Environmental Audit Committee’s inquiry into the fashion industry, challenging some of the “inaccuracies” it claims were included in the evidence provided to the committee…
  • Wednesday, 09 January 2019

    Is luxury fashion becoming a sustainability leader?

    LONDON/NEW YORK – Mimicking the way in which haute couture catwalks influence high street styles, are premium brands now spearheading a sustainability shift that can translate into an industrywide environmental surge?
  • Tuesday, 08 January 2019

    VIDEO: Planet Textiles Pod – Forestry management

    WAKEFIELD – In a filmed interview from the Planet Textiles Pod, Alfie Germano, Nanollose chief executive, discusses the Australian firm’s proprietary fibre production technique and how that can avert the threat of deforestation posed by…
  • Monday, 07 January 2019

    Great Lakes pollution inspires microfibre study

    TORONTO – Researchers at the University of Toronto’s Rochman Lab are exploring the effectiveness of washing machine filters at lowering the quantities of textile-derived microfibres which make their way into water treatment plants. The next step of…
  • Monday, 07 January 2019

    Could poor air quality damage garment worker productivity?

    SINGAPORE – A team of economists at the National University of Singapore has conducted research which suggests that prolonged exposure to pollutant particles in a workplace, such as is the case in some Chinese textile factories, could reduce the…
  • Monday, 07 January 2019

    Outdoor brand Mammut joins SAC

    SEON – Swiss mountaineering and hiking apparel firm Mammut has joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) as part of what it describes as “another step in its committed approach to responsible production.” This announcement sees the company…
  • Friday, 04 January 2019

    Webinar tackles endangered forestry and sustainable sourcing

    VANCOUVER – A webinar co-hosted by environmental non-profit Canopy and Ecotextile News will address some of the key issues posed by the fashion sector in terms of forestry management and how brands can improve the sustainability of their viscose…
  • Friday, 04 January 2019

    AAFA launches new denim finishing safety tool

    WASHINGTON – The American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) has published a new document specifically designed to protect workers in the denim finishing industry. The resource has been developed in co-ordination with the AAFA Safety in Denim…
  • Friday, 04 January 2019

    NGO calls time on H&M living wage pledge

    AMSTERDAM – Clean Clothes Campaign has described H&M as a “full-fledged promise breaker” for allegedly failing to fulfil its commitment to implement a living wage for 850,000 workers in its supply chain by the end of 2018. As recently as September…
  • Thursday, 03 January 2019

    VIDEO: Planet Textiles Pod – Dry Finishing

    VANCOUVER – At Planet Textiles 2018, CEO of Green Theme International Gary Selwyn sat down with us in the interview pod at Planet Textiles, as part of a series of interviews conducted with leading figures in the textiles and apparel industry. The…
  • Thursday, 03 January 2019

    Study cites Bangladesh progress amid political uncertainty

    DHAKA – Following on from December which saw yet another delay in proceedings regarding the future of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, new research has pointed to a substantial drop in the number of workplace fatalities within…
  • Wednesday, 02 January 2019

    Lenzing and Hyosung unite for sustainable collection

    LENZING/SEOUL – Fibre producers Lenzing and Hyosung are set to launch a new ‘sustainable fabric collection’ at ISPO 2019, in a move which is said to be “just the start” of co-operative working between the two companies. The collection will showcase…
  • Wednesday, 02 January 2019

    Hard Talk: Minding your business

    NEW YORK - With a direct line to CEOs, Cara Smyth, the Founder of the GCNYC Fair Fashion Center, NYC, identifies the business case for sustainability and shows how it can help to turn global environmental issues into industry opportunities.
  • Friday, 28 December 2018

    Project scales for clean and cheap cellulose fibres

    HELSINKI – Pulp and paper supplier Storo Enso is the latest partner in a joint venture first established in 2014 by H&M and the Ikea Group, which aims to develop a new way to produce ‘cost-effective’ man-made cellulose fibres that have similar…
  • Friday, 21 December 2018

    Ecotextile News on 2018

    WAKEFIELD – It has been a typically busy year for the textile industry, and it has, as always, been the role of Ecotextile News to highlight the positive work undertaken to improve the sector while also exposing some of the bad practices which still…
  • Friday, 21 December 2018

    Textiles and the Environment: the Big Picture

    WAKEFIELD – As most of us start to wind down for the Holiday Season, we’ve produced a digital Special Edition of Ecotextile News, which collates our series of ‘Big Picture’ articles that we published in the printed edition of our magazine throughout…
  • Friday, 21 December 2018

    Recycling association supports DEFRA textiles focus

    LONDON – The Textile Recycling Association has supported proposals in the latest DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) policy paper, which have identified textiles as one of five priority material streams which will be reviewed…
  • Thursday, 20 December 2018

    SLCP set to scale up operations in 2019

    AMSTERDAM – The Social & Labor Convergence Project (SLCP), having started out with 33 signatories in October 2015, now has the support of 190 organisations and is approaching a very significant period of its development in 2019. One of the key…
  • Thursday, 20 December 2018

    VIDEO: Planet Textiles Pod – Chemical management

    Vancouver - Dr. Meg Whittaker, managing director of Toxservices, takes a different approach than most to harmonisation: “I'm one of the friendlier consultants out there and I'm probably the only one that actually trains my competition.” “I actually…
  • Wednesday, 19 December 2018

    UK apparel retailers lower impact, says report

    LONDON – A new report from UK charity WRAP that charts the progress of signatories to the SCAP 2020 Sustainable Clothing Action Plan, claims significant reductions in carbon and water use along with waste to landfill per tonne of garments sold in…
  • Wednesday, 19 December 2018

    US brand allegedly sourcing from Chinese internment camps

    HOTAN – Reports coming out of China allege that US sportswear retailer Badger Sportswear is sourcing garments from internment camps in the nation’s Xinjiang region. The reports claim that these facilities, where up to “one million Muslims are…
  • Wednesday, 19 December 2018

    Responsible Down Standard open for review

    LUBBOCK – Textile Exchange has opened the Public Stakeholder Draft Consultation for its Responsible Down Standard (RDS). The standard has been under review throughout the past year, and a list of proposed changes – published by the International…
  • Wednesday, 19 December 2018

    Spinnova enters new phase with pilot factory progress

    HELSINKI – Fibre producer Spinnova has announced the completion of its new pilot factory line in Jyväskylä, Finland. This landmark step in the company’s progression caps off a year which has seen Spinnova join Fashion for Good’s Scaling Programme…
  • Wednesday, 19 December 2018

    Nylon alternatives sought as regulation bites

    EDINBURGH – A top research analyst specialising in the nylon sector warns the industry will suffer a new period of turbulence in 2019; saying that new environmental regulations coupled with feedstock supply issues will result in further volatility and…
  • Tuesday, 18 December 2018

    Eco-Age celebrates Italian expansion

    MILAN – Sustainable fashion organisation Eco-Age has announced the opening of a new Italian office to serve existing clients who operate within the Italian market, alongside new clients who will be exclusive to the Italian branch. Eco-Age is no…
  • Tuesday, 18 December 2018

    Sympatex confirmed as Planet Textiles Event Partner

    MUNICH – Functional textiles firm Sympatex will once again be the official event partner at Planet Textiles 2019 – which will be held alongside the ITMA textile technology exhibition in Barcelona on 22nd June 2019. Following on from Planet Textiles…
BACK ISSUE ARCHIVE
OTHER PUBLICATIONS FROM MCL NEWS & MEDIA

Interested in advertising?

Simply give us a call

Sales: +44 1977 708488

Or if you prefer email, click on the button below and we'll get back to you asap