Note: This article predates our launch as Worldly.
While the Norwegian Consumer Authority has raised concerns about the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s pilot transparency program, their discussions do not impact other uses of the Higg MSI materials database or the other tools in the Higg Index suite.
As SAC’s technology partner, Higg stands behind the science-based data provided within the Higg MSI. While the NCA has stated its view that global average data is not suitable for consumer-facing product claims, the LCA data used in the Higg MSI remains the best available data in the apparel industry on materials’ impacts. In addition to helping designers and product developers make informed choices, LCA data is also used by industries, including the automotive and electronics industries, to evaluate and report on product impact.
We’ve closely followed France and the European Commission’s work towards consistent product labeling, and remain concerned that the NCA’s approach puts these neighboring jurisdictions at odds. We support a harmonized regulatory landscape that ensures businesses can act with urgency to address climate change. As long as the approaches of governments are in conflict, consumers will not see meaningful sustainability information, and efforts to accelerate disclosure could be delayed by years.
Meanwhile, there are also urgent data gaps that need to be filled by material and fiber producers. At Higg, we’re actively incorporating new methodologies and datasets as alternatives become available. But we need all stakeholders to move faster to verify the impacts of their industries and share that data more widely with others in the industry.
Higg’s mission is to provide businesses with the tools and data they need to make informed choices for addressing environmental and social impact in their value chains. While the SAC’s transparency program is paused as they work with the NCA and other stakeholders, there remains no effect on the Higg Index tools hosted on our Higg technology platform.