After pausing the application of the Higg Material Sustainability Index (MSI) at the end of June caused by objections from the Norwegian Consumer Authority about the methodology used to determine the sustainability of products, the owner of the Higg MSI, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) is currently reviewing its methodology.
With this update, the SAC intends to harmonise its index to adapt it to the new European Union guidelines against greenwashing and planned obsolescence. This will force retailers to provide information on the durability and repairability of the products they put on sale.
With a relaunch of the Higg MSI on the cards, this is an opportunity for the Higg scores awarded to leather to reflect its sustainable and durable qualities. Previously, the methodology used to determine sustainability scores made petroleum-based materials such as polyester far superior to leather, cotton, wool, silk and other natural materials.
The review currently being undertaken by the SAC is the right time for leather to be valued fairly in relation to its polluting potential and to recognize how sustainable genuine leather can really be.