In this side session at the OECD – OCDE Forum on Due Diligence in the Garment & Footwear Sector, we give you an update on our progress and milestones with our Higg Index transparency program, which we launched in May 2021. We also talk with expert panelists to discuss how transparency will help drive industry change. Watch the replay above, and view more information below:
- Rakhil Hirdaramani, Director of Hirdaramani Group
- Delphine Williot – Policy and Research Coordinator at Fashion Revolution
- Marie Måwe – Director of Stakeholder Engagement at W. L. Gore & Associates
- Chris Marshall– Director of Transparency at Sustainable Apparel Coalition
As we learn in this session, improved data in the public domain is helping to drive internal change within companies. This is why we at the SAC are pleased to offer our transparency program as a solution to accelerating progress. Built on the core suite of Higg Tools, the first phase of our transparency program allows companies to publicly share data on a product’s environmental impact that is comprehensive, credible and verified. Soon, the program will leverage data to measure impacts of manufacturing facilities, as well as social impacts arising from brand and retail practices.
Below, panelists share their own views about transparency, and why it’s a critical lever for change:
“Transparency is foundational to achieving systemic change. It is a key aspect of our mission at Fashion Revolution since 2014. Unfortunately, across the fashion value chain, there is a lot of opaqueness, so if you can’t see what happens across the supply chain, you can’t fix it. It’s not radical, but it’s a necessary first step. Transparency cannot be confused with sustainability. But without it, you can’t achieve an accountable industry. One thing we found in our research: the further you go down the supply chain, the less information is available. Lack of standardization is a huge issue because there is no comparative element. Having the SAC transparency program helps us to get access to reliable data, which then allows for greater scrutiny, and thus, improvement. ” – Delphine Williot, Policy and Research Coordinator at Fashion Revolution
“Data has provided us with insights…by being able to benchmark scores, it informs our plans for how we move forward. We use SAC’s policies and scores from the Higg Index to inform our strategy. We believe in accountability. Having the public scorecard means we know how we can improve and get better.” – Rakhil Hirdaramani, Director of Hirdaramani Group
“Systems such as the Higg Index are powerful because they try to capture the broader picture. In the past, data collection was about cherry picking ‘the best’, but when you have a broad system, you have to look at the whole picture, including the bad pieces. Then you are able to start digging into your supply chain to find solutions. We work with hundreds of brands, who all have different systems and data requests. This is all very time consuming, time that can be used towards improving our operations. Having a common system [like the Higg Index] to avoid duplicative work in auditing is crucial to transparency. Sometimes we focus on just collecting data–but data isn’t just about collecting it, it’s about a call-to-action.” – Marie Mawe, Director of Stakeholder Engagement at W. L. Gore & Associates
Learn more about our Higg Index transparency program here.