Higg Materials Sustainability Index (Higg MSI)
The Higg Materials Sustainability Index (Higg MSI) is the apparel industry’s most trusted tool to measure and score the environmental impacts of materials. Apparel, footwear, and textile industry designers and product developers can use the Higg MSI to assess and compare the cradle-to-gate impacts of different materials, such as cotton, polyester, and leather, to produce more responsible products.
The Higg MSI uses data submitted from the industry and life cycle assessment databases to calculate environmental impacts and translate them into comparable Higg MSI scores.
This includes data for the following impacts:
• Global Warming Potential
• Nutrient Pollution in Water (Eutrophication)
• Water Scarcity
• Fossil Fuel Depletion
The tool can calculate the impact of millions of possible material manufacturing variations.
All of the main fabrics used in Macpac gear since Summer 21/22 have been scored for impact with the Higg MSI. Macpac currently uses the global warming potential score to prioritize lower impact fabrics used in our range.
Higg Facility Environmental Module (Higg FEM)
The environmental cost of producing and wearing clothes is high. Making a typical pair of jeans can require nearly 7500 litres of water and 400 megajoules of energy. Once purchased, caring for that same pair of jeans throughout its lifespan can emit more than 30 kilograms of carbon dioxide. That’s equivalent to driving a car 125 kilometers.
The Higg FEM informs manufacturers, brands, and retailers about the environmental performance of their individual facilities, empowering them to scale sustainability improvements.
The Higg FEM assesses:
• Environmental Management Systems
• Energy Use & Greenhouse Gas Emissions
• Water Use
• Emissions to Air (if applicable)
• Waste Management
• Chemical Management
Macpac encourages all of our manufacturing Trade Partners to use the Higg FEM to score their environmental performance. You can see an example of a Trade Partner’s performance here.
Higg Brand & Retail Module (Higg BRM)
From materials sourcing to a product’s end of use, the Higg BRM assesses the following life cycle stages of a product as it goes through a company’s operations, identifying social, labour and environmental risks and impacts:
• Management System
• Supply Chain
• Use & End of Use
• Retail Stores
• Distribution Centres
Macpac has been using the Higg BRM as a road map on our better business journey since 2019. The Higg Index is the basis of our sustainability strategy. It helps us determine which practices we should improve in order to operate in a more responsible way. We’re proud of the progress we’ve made since using the BRM.
Our verified 2020 BRM scores were:
Total Environmental - 49.3% (Management System 83.3%, Retailer 11.1%, Brand 52.1%, Stores 50%, Operations & Logistics 50%)
Total Social - 46.7% (Management System 76.9%, Retailer 14.3%, Brand 27%, Stores 65.4%, Operations & Logistics 50%)
The verified BRM highlights areas where we have the opportunity to improve. We then cross reference this information with knowledge of where our efforts are likely to yield the best results. For example, our 2020 BRM highlighted the opportunity to enhance our purchasing practices (Brand Social section). For that reason, we’ve engaged our top partners to rate our practices using the Better Buying Institute’s Better Buying Purchasing Practices Index (BBPPI). We’ll use our learnings from this exercise to better shape our purchasing practices in the future.
We will share our updated, verified scores once available. You can learn more about the Higg BRM here.
Higg Facility Social & Labour Module (Higg FSLM)
Everyone deserves to work in a safe and healthy environment where they receive fair pay. To improve social and labor conditions for the workers who produce billions of garments, textiles, and footwear for the global retail industry each year, brands and manufacturers need to first measure the social impact of global facilities.
The Higg Facility Social & Labor Module (Higg FSLM) promotes safe and fair social and labor conditions for supply chain workers all over the world. Facilities can use the scored assessment to understand hotspots and reduce audit fatigue. Instead of focusing on compliance, they can dedicate time and resources to making lasting systemic changes.
The Higg FSLM assesses:
• Recruitment & Hiring
• Working Hours
• Wages & Benefits
• Employee Treatment
• Employee Involvement
• Health & Safety
• Management Systems
• Empowering People & Communties
It is important to note that the Higg FSLM is directly informed by the findings of the Social & Labor Convergence Program (SLCP)’s Converged Assessment Framework (CAF). Macpac has made a public commitment to accept the SLCP’s framework, and aims to transition all of our Tier 1 manufacturing Trade Partners to the Higg FSLM by 2025.