GreenEarth Cleaning has joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and says it will use the group’s sustainability measurement tool, the Higg Index, as a standard-setting mechanism to improve its environmentally friendly dry cleaning system.
The Higg Index is an open source, indicator-based tool that allows suppliers, manufacturers, brands and retailers to evaluate materials, products, facilities and processes based on environmental and product design choices. GreenEarth will contribute both data and resources to support the Higg Index.
The SAC has said it plans to release an updated version of the index this year to include footwear products and social and labor impact areas. The index eventually will be expanded to include quantitative metrics and feature an improved scoring method.
The tool already includes a materials sustainability index, a cradle-to-gate assessment tool to give designers and the global supply chain information on the environmental sustainability of materials.
SAC executive director Jason Kibbey says having GreenEarth as part of the coalition widens the group’s scope within the apparel industry to include garment after-care.
The coalition, which was created in March 2011 by nearly 30 manufacturers and retailers including Nike, Target and Levi’s, currently has more than 90 members, the majority of which are global brands and retailers. These include Adidas, Gap, H&M, Kohl’s, Marks & Spencer, Nordstrom and REI.
In January, Invista, a Koch Industries company and one of the world’s largest integrated producers of polymers and fibers, joined the SAC. The same week, ANN Inc., the parent company of Ann Taylor and Loft, became the first women’s specialty retailer to join the coalition.