Higg Index

The Higg Index is an apparel and footwear industry self-assessment standard for assessing environmental and social sustainability throughout the supply chain. Launched in 2012, it was developed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, a nonprofit organization founded by a group of fashion companies, the United States government Environmental Protection Agency, and other nonprofit entities.


The Higg Index provides a tool for the apparel and footwear industry to assess sustainability throughout a product's entire life cycle, from materials to end-of-life.[1] The metrics created Higg Index are limited to a company's internal use for the evaluation and improvement of environmental performance. Plans for a future version include the creation of a scoring scale designed to communicate a product's sustainability impact to consumers and other stakeholders.[2][3]

Version 1.0Edit

Version 1.0 of the Higg Index was made public in July 2012.[4][5]

According to the Coalition's Executive Director, Jason Kibbey, the name "Higg" was inspired by the Higgs Boson search. The name Higg also met other key criteria: it was short, easy to pronounce and was able to clear trademark registration in 120 countries.[6]

In its first iteration, Higg Index metrics focus on environmental factors[example needed] in the apparel supply chain. Metrics pertaining to footwear as well as labor and social sustainability are planned for a future release.[7]

Version 2.0Edit

On 11 December 2013, an updated version of the Higg Index was released.[1]

Sustainable Apparel CoalitionEdit

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition is the developer of the Higg Index.[1] Founded in 2011, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition is a nonprofit organization whose members include brands producing apparel or footwear; retailers; industry affiliates and trade associations; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, academic institutions and environmental nonprofits.[8][9][10]

In October 2015, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition announced the launch of the Social Labor and Convergence Project, which seeks to establish a uniform standard for auditing labor conditions and social impact in the apparel and footwear industries.[11]


The first version of the Higg Index was adapted from two previously existing sustainability measurement standards: the Nike Apparel Environmental Design Tool and the Eco Index created by the Outdoor Industry Association, the European Outdoor Group and the Zero Waste Alliance.[12]


  1. ^ a b c Friedman, Arthur (11 December 2013). "Higg Index Gets Updated". WWD. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  2. ^ Sustainable Apparel Coalition.<Clark, Evan. "Sustainability Index Unveiled", Women's Wear Daily, 25 July 2012. Retrieved on 20 December 2012.
  3. ^ "The Higg Index". Retrieved on 20 December 2012.
  4. ^ Clark, Evan. "Sustainability Index Unveiled", Women's Wear Daily, 25 July 2012. Retrieved on 20 December 2012.
  5. ^ Binkley, Christina. "Which Outfit Is Greenest? A New Rating Tool", Wall Street Journal, 25 July 2012. Retrieved on 20 December 2012.
  6. ^ Godelnik, Raz. "Interview: New Tool Will Measure Sustainability Across Apparel Supply Chain", TriplePundit, 27 July 2012. Retrieved on 20 December 2012.
  7. ^ Reuben, Aaron. "Case Studies: The Higg Index for Sustainable Apparel" Archived 2013-02-13 at Archive.today, Environmental Performance Index, Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy, 24 September 2012. Retrieved on 20 December 2012.
  8. ^ "AAFA, SAC Sign MoU" Archived 2013-02-03 at Archive.today, Textile World Magazine, November/December 2012. Retrieved on 20 December 2012.
  9. ^ Gunther, Marc. "Behind the Scenes at the Sustainable Apparel Coalition", GreenBiz, 26 July 2012. Retrieved on 20 December 2012.
  10. ^ "Current Members", Sustainable Apparel Coalition. Retrieved on 20 December 2012.
  11. ^ "Nike, Target, H&M and Others Joining Forces to Transform Global Labor Conditions". ehstoday.com. Retrieved 2015-10-27.
  12. ^ Clark, Evan. "Sustainable Apparel Coalition Formed", Women's Wear Daily, 1 March 2011. Retrieved on 20 December 2012.

External linksEdit