Make Better Choices at Every Stage of a Product’s Development

The Higg Materials Sustainability Index

The Higg Materials Sustainability Index (Higg MSI) is the apparel industry’s most trusted tool to measure and score the environmental impacts of materials. Apparel, footwear, and textile industry designers and product developers can use the Higg MSI to assess and compare the impacts of different materials, such as cotton, polyester, and leather, to create more sustainable products.

The Higg MSI can calculate the impact of millions of possible material manufacturing variations.

The Higg MSI uses data submitted from the industry and life cycle assessment databases to calculate environmental impacts and translate them into comparable Higg MSI scores.

The Higg MSI Measures 5 Environmental Impacts of Material Production

  • Global Warming
  • Nutrient pollution in water (eutrophication)
  • Water scarcity
  • Fossil fuel depletion
  • Chemistry

The Higg MSI features 80+ example materials

These examples represent materials commonly used in the industry.









Compare the environmental impacts of a variety of cotton options such as:

  • Conventional cotton
  • Recycled cotton
  • Organic cotton

“We use the Higg MSI to understand & measure the environmental impact of Salomon’s materials – we have already scored more than 800 materials so far. The final objective being to score our footwear product and be able to give an environmental visibility to our end consumer and our B2B clients. In addition with the Higg MSI, we can communicate about sustainability transparently with our suppliers and collaborate globally to make more sustainable products.”

Céline Mazars, Salomon Material Manager Footwear HQ

“The Higg MSI was developed specially for the textile industry through global industry-wide consensus. Before the Higg MSI, no tool in the apparel industry offered common criteria for life-cycle assessments, methodology, and procedures. We use the Higg MSI to showcase our sustainable materials.”


The Higg Product Module

Designers and developers can control upwards of 80 percent of a product’s environmental impact. The best moment to make low-impact choices about materials and production is at the beginning of the creative process.

The Higg Product Module (Higg PM) will measure the environmental impact a product makes throughout its life-cycle. This can include how much water a product uses, how much energy it consumes, even how it affects the overall global climate. By assessing life-cycle impacts, brands, retailers, and manufacturers can make improvements to produce apparel, footwear, and textiles more responsibly.

Business Value of the Higg Product Module

The Higg PM will help companies assess the full life-cycle impact of a final product for a fraction of the time and cost life-cycle assessment tools typically require. The tool shows how products in any category compare to one another and what life-cycle stages or production processes contribute the largest environmental impact. Soon, companies will be able to integrate the Higg PM with their own internal systems to assess and analyze sustainability impacts.

Launching in 2020, the Higg PM will allow users to calculate environmental impacts for numerous apparel, footwear, and textile products when produced at industrial scale. This is a critical step toward future product labeling and potential environmental legislation.