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Higg Index

Tool Category Website Owner/Sponsor Entity Type Product Categories
Standards, Certifications & Labels


Sustainable Apparel Coalition


Apparel/Footwear/Outdoor Industry; Textiles

The Higg Index is a standardized supply chain measurement tool for the apparel, footwear, and home textile industry to understand the environmental and social and labor impacts of making and selling their products and services. The Higg Index comprises several online tools or “modules” that measure environmental, social, and labor impacts for a brand, facility, or product. By entering data about their impact areas, companies generate standardized performance scores that can be shared with current and future supply chain partners globally. Scores are anonymized and aggregated, which allows businesses to benchmark their results against the industry. All members of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition commit to using the Higg Index.

What Is Evaluated?

Focus Impacts
  • Chemicals
  • Materials
  • Products
  • Companies
    • Ecological health
    • Human health
    • Social responsibility
    • Materials efficiency
    • Energy use


Each Higg Index module is comprised of questions developed by the SAC’s members, stakeholders, and experts, which are regularly reevaluated and updated to address all corporate policies and practices, from foundation-level measures (such as basic compliance) to medium-level to aspirational-level (such as advanced and far-reaching sustainability policies). Higg users accrue points for every policy or practice that they follow, and receive the most points for positively answering the highest-level questions. These aspirational questions are based on the best practices currently followed by SAC members.

Product Tool - Design and Development Module

This module engages product designers and developers in making sustainable choices during prototype design. It guides them in materials selection, construction techniques, and considering the complete life-cycle of the product. The main workhorse of the Design and Development Module is the Materials Sustainability Index (MSI), which quantitatively measures the life cycle impacts of commonly used materials found in products.

Facility Tool - Environment Module

This module is appropriate for any tier of manufacturing. It measures a broad range of impacts ranging from chemical use to environmental management systems. SAC is developing a verification program for this module to be released in 2016.

Facility Tool - Social and Labor Module

This module is appropriate for any tier of manufacturing. It measures facility-level social impacts and the efficacy of social management programs. This module will be upgraded in 2016 with a simplified, unified approach, and a verification program is set to launch in 2017.

Brand Tool- Environment Module

This module helps brands assess their environmental management policies and practices. There are separate modules for apparel/textile brands and for footwear brands to capture the different products’ unique impacts.

Brand Tool - Social and Labor Module

This module helps brands assess their social impact and corporate policies relating to their internal workforce standards and those of their value chain partners.


Higg users self-assess their practices by answering questions about their brand, product or facility, based on best practices currently followed by SAC members. The Index awards points for adhering to positive policies or practices and generates a standardized performance score that can be easily shared with supply-chain partners.


There is no charge to be listed in the Higg Index. To access the Index for assessment purposes, companies can either join the SAC or, for manufacturers, pay an $85 annual fee per facility. Membership ranges from $5,000-50,000 annually depending on company revenue.

Examples of Retailers That Use It

Walmart, REI, Macy’s, Kohl’s, Zappos.com, Marks & Spencer

For More Information

Contact form here: apparelcoalition.org/higg-support/

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