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H&M launches Higg Index Sustainability Profile

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Fast fashion retailer H&M has launched a first version of the Higg Index Sustainability Profile, sharing environmental performance scores for materials on selected products across its online stores in Europe and the U.S. Released today by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) and its technology partner Higg, H&M is one of the very first brands to apply the new Higg Index Sustainability Profile to products.

Higg Index Sustainability Profiles are part of the SAC’s new Higg Index transparency program and are based on independently verified environmental impact data from the Higg Materials Sustainability Index (MSI).

“We are applying the Higg Index Sustainability Profile to a selected number of products on hm.com and plan to expand its use in the coming months. Each product is given a score based on the environmental impact of the materials used to make it. Scores range from “baseline” to “3.” Baseline scores are given to products made from conventional materials and scores of 1,2 and 3 are given to products made with materials that have lower environmental impacts.  On each product, customers will also see detailed data on impacts relating to water use, global warming, fossil fuel use and water pollution,” the retailer said in a statement.

“We are thrilled to launch a first version of the Higg Index Sustainability Profile with material environmental performance scores now available on selected products in all our 31 European online markets & the US. This is a major milestone for us and something we have been working towards for a decade. We firmly believe transparency is key to transforming the fashion industry and we are excited to see this tool further develop so that we can share even more environmental and eventually social data with our customers across our products in the near future”, says Pascal Brun, Head of Sustainability at H&M.

The Higg Index transparency program and the resulting Higg Index Sustainability Profile have been developed collaboratively over several years, together with global retailers and sustainability experts. The new program from the SAC and Higg offers customers greater transparency and the possibility to make more informed purchasing decisions. The program will continue to be developed to comprise further data including, for example, the environmental and social footprint of factories.

“At H&M, the introduction of the Higg Index Sustainability Profile to our products, marks a key step in our quest to become more transparent. In 2013 the H&M group became the first global fashion retailer to publish its supplier list online, a list that has continuously been added to and broadened. In 2019 H&M was the first major fashion retailer to bring product transparency to scale, launching a transparency layer on all products on hm.com. Now, the next step is to scale up our work with Higg Index Sustainability Profiles, applying the new program to more products throughout 2021 and working to secure the program on as many of our products as possible during 2022,” the statement said.