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Sustainability - Critical Questions of the new Hiigg Index
11 August 2020

Yesterday, 10 August, we published an article describing the new Higg Index. However, the form of measuring sustainability has come in for sharp criticism from Leather UK and we publish the observations of Dr Kerry Senior in this regard.



Dr Senior has written a critical post on the new Higg Index that according to the Apparel Insider web page claims that 'Polyester is now even better for the planet says new Higg MSI'

Here follows Dr Senior’s comment:

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) has just improved the Higg Index score for polyester, reducing it to 36, which apparently makes it the most sustainable fibre on the planet https://lnkd.in/d_yn-dU

This seems baffling. How can petrochemical-derived material, that is choking our oceans and air (https://lnkd.in/da5E2Zv) and may soon be produced from coal (https://lnkd.in/dxJRMZb) be more sustainable than natural fibres like cotton and leather?

There are numerous criticisms aimed at the Higg Index including its failure to consider the use phase of a product - a recent LCA on wool products found that this was the largest contributor to their impact (https://lnkd.in/dhZXWfQ) - but the most important is its lack of transparency. It is owned by the same organisations that use it to justify their material use decisions, and will not allow authentication by third parties.

Perhaps the measures are correct, but without transparency, there is a credibility gap.