The Sustainable Apparel Coalition today is unveiling an updated version of the Higg Index, a sustainability measurement tool for the industry’s supply chain, adding an assessment tool for social and labor indicators for the first time, and a new online platform that makes it easier for companies to share information.
Higg Index 2.0 features an online platform developed by Schneider Electric, adding the ability to share users’ sustainability data, increase accuracy and add measurability for new materials and processes, allowing for greater transparency and validation, noted Jason Kibbey, executive director of the SAC, a trade association comprised of brands, retailers, manufacturers, government and nongovernmental organizations and academic experts. SAC represents more than a third of the global apparel and footwear market.
“We would like to encourage a conversation so there’s a way for the brands to share information with their manufacturers about the decisions they make that might impact environmental or social performance,” Kibbey said. “Right now…the information is controlled by the company and they can share it with whomever they like, just like social media. We just get the benchmark aggregate information. This is a big step in the right direction on transparency. The next step is for the information to be shared more broadly.”
Kibbey noted it is not ready for labeling as a certification because that would require third-party assessment.
The Higg Index has also expanded its sustainability coverage by adding modules to assess social and labor impacts for manufacturers and brands. Higg Index 2.0 for the first time addresses footwear by adding a footwear brand module and allowing for sector facility assessment within it. Added and improved content in the index includes a Materials Sustainability Index Web tool, an apparel and footwear materials list released in June and since expanded to include sustainability metrics on 45 materials.
Also, content from the Chemicals Management Module, a joint project with the Outdoor Industry Association, served as a key input into the improvements made in the Higg Index 2.0 on chemicals management. Another new tool being beta tested allows companies to look at the environmental impact of a fabric or material.
The Higg Index was introduced in 2012 to better measure the comprehensive environmental and social impacts of apparel and footwear products, and since then has allowed more than 100 companies to identify opportunities to improve long-term sustainability. Kibbey said a longer-term goal for the coalition is to centralize sustainability standards.
“One of the reasons the Sustainable Apparel Coalition came together is that there are so many of these standards and seals out there — in the hundreds — and a lot of them are very good and have helped companies access the environmental and social impact of their products, but it can be daunting and confusing even for sustainability professionals,” he said. “So we’re trying to look more holistically at the product overall and offer one type of assessment that can give that type of understanding. It’s fair to say that we are trying to streamline the myriad of different standards out there and become a standard that everyone in the industry recognizes.”
The Higg Index 2.0 is available for industry review and use at apparelcoalition.org/higgindex.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion