San Francisco—The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) has made it a whole lot easier to decipher sustainability of materials used in apparel, accessories and footwear—with the launch of the group’s Materials Sustainability Index (MSI) web tool, a new component to the Higg Index suite of sustainability tools for the apparel and footwear industries.
This interactive platform visualizes 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 msi.apparelcoalition.org.
Looking for Data for Higg Index 2.0
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 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.
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. Any submissions received after this date will be held until the next review cycle, expected to begin in early 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 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. www.apparelcoalition.org