The Higg Index is a web-based optimization tool released in 2012 as Higg Index 1.0 by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, a non-profit organization based in San Francisco. It was the result of a collaboration between Walmart and Patagonia.
The expanded version, the Higg Index 2.0, was launched in 2013. Today over 180 companies, associations, universities and organizations have joined the SAC.
The name Higg is said to have been inspired by the search for the Higgs boson in particle physics, which is changing science and the understanding of our universe. Similarly, the Higg Index is all about the search for the part within value chain that will change sustainability.
The Higg Index is perpetually undergoing further development. From the very beginning, it fell into three modules: a brand module, a facility module and a product module. A design and development model was added in 2016, and has already contributed to helping companies make sustainable decisions in the design and development process. Each of these modules impacts the sustainability of products.
The Higg Index is not a certificate or a label, but rather a self-assessment tool that clothing firms can apply internally to better and more quickly identify and improve environmental and social problems in their overall value chains. More information on the Higg Index can be found here.