Industry Consultation
Transparency Material Methodology Update

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) is looking for feedback to the Higg Index Transparency Program – Material Performance Methodology (with a focus on Man Made Cellulosic fibers).

The feedback period will be open for 60 days from April 11th to June 9th, 2022.

You can review the draft methodology PDF here, and share your feedback using this feedback form.

Context

In May 2021, the SAC launched the Higg Index Transparency Program which seeks to enable consumer facing sustainability claims that are meaningful, contextualized, and actionable by consumers. The program shows impact reductions -as benchmarked against equivalent conventional materials or processes- achieved through design and developing decisions that are aligned with industry goals around climate change.
Read more here: https://apparelcoalition.org/transparency/

The 1st phase of the Higg Index Transparency Program is focused on environmental impact reductions related to material content as measured by the MSI. At the launch of this 1st phase, the program’s Material Performance Methodology only considered Textiles and Insulation materials.

Proposal and Consultation Scope

The SAC worked with its members in a Member Expert Team (MET) to refine this methodology, to increase the scope of raw materials and manufacturing processes that can meet functional equivalency requirements for benchmarking, and that can be verified.
The key proposed changes that affect the claims and achievement levels of the Higg Index Transparency Program are the following:

  • Expand the Approved Material Benchmarks to allow more material and product categories to participate in the Higg Index Transparency Program, e.g. footwear, leather goods, etc.
  • Consider groupings of functionally equivalent materials to allow recognition of material choices that have lower environmental impacts and achievement levels.
  • Group Acetate, Lyocell, Modal, and Viscose as MMC fibers to be benchmarked against Viscose fiber.

 

Note: All changes to the original methodology document have been highlighted in yellow and are described in Part 7: Document Change Log (page 18).
In Scope for Feedback Out of Scope for Feedback
Criteria to follow when proposing grouping of materials or processes (Appendix B, Part I) How to create new LCA data (existing process through MSI contributor, separate focused member groups can be created for data collection)
Using ‘most widely used’ as the benchmark for grouped materials or processes (Appendix B, Part II) Changes to Higg MSI or PM (focus of the Product Strategic Council)
Industry alignment process required for every grouping proposal (Appendix B, Part III) Updates to materials impacts and scores on the MSI
Agreement on grouping of Acetate, Lyocell, Modal, and Viscose fibers under Man Made Cellulosics group with Viscose as the benchmark (Appendix B, Part IV) Material impact methodology (existing framework for current Transparency claims)
Technology feature development (existing prioritization framework with Higg)
Transparency claims related to BRM, FEM, or FSLM assessments

 

Note: All changes to the original methodology document have been highlighted in yellow and are described in Part 7: Document Change Log (page 18).

Methodology draft for review: PDF

Feedback form: here
Timeframe: 60 days (from April 11th to June 9th, 2022)