The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) has announced an update to its Higg Materials Sustainability Index (Higg MSI) tool that will enable the apparel, footwear, and textile industry to “more effectively” assess the environmental impact of materials used in its global manufacturing.

The Higg MSI, which has become the industry's most trusted tool for accurately measuring and scoring a material's environmental impact, now features 80 base materials, including cotton, polyester, and silk, in the latest update, that when blended, these account for the majority of all materials the industry currently uses.

In addition, the update includes a new feature that enables suppliers to share sustainability performance information about their materials with brands and retailers, which the SAC hopes will help promote greater transparency and improved sustainability performance within the industry.

"With the opportunity to play a key role in determining a product's sustainability performance, being a designer today is really exciting," SAC chief executive Jason Kibbey said in a press release. "With the Higg MSI, product designers can access an incredible amount of information, and then use it to significantly reduce environmental impacts of materials production.”

Applying trusted metrics, the Higg MSI assesses a material's environmental performance and scores the results, calculating for energy, water, chemistry, and additional impacts used in material production, giving designers greater insight in creating more sustainable apparel.

For the apparel, footwear, and textile industry, this can help companies design products that will attract and retain key consumers, who the SAC states are becoming “increasingly demanding” when it comes to greater transparency in how their clothes and shoes are made. By using more sustainable materials it will reduce the environmental impact of global manufacturing and help businesses stay relevant in today's marketplace of increasingly aware consumers.

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) is an industry-wide group of more than 200 leading apparel, footwear, and textile, brands, retailers, suppliers, service providers, trade associations, nonprofits/NGOs, and academic institutions working to reduce the environmental and social impacts of products around the world.

 

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