This New Tech Spinoff Is Designed to Help Scale Sustainability

The Higg Index, a suite of assessment tools that measure environmental and social performance, was created by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition in 2011 as a practical resource to help the apparel industry reduce its environmental impact. Now SAC is spinning off a for-profit entity, Higg Co., that will focus on developing the technology that underpins the Higg Index.

“As the Sustainable Apparel Coalition has grown, one specific challenge has continuously risen to the top: How do we succeed as both a member-driven organization and deliver enterprise software solutions under the same umbrella?” said Jason Kibbey, CEO of Higg.

A former CEO of SAC, Kibbey said he believes that the spinout of Higg Co. will provide the funding and development needed to scale the Higg Index globally. While majority-owned by SAC, Higg has received investment from Titan Grove and Buckhill Capital, and Sanjeev Bahl of Saiburg B.V. It is hoped that this investment will enable the company to facilitate a faster and more efficient rollout of the Higg Index than previously possible.

As an increasing number of companies look to implement sustainability initiatives, Higg will also provide custom solutions for businesses in the apparel industry. These will include workflows for product life-cycle management integration and API services and analytics, with the intention to eventually integrate Higg workflows with that of the existing Higg Index data.

Jason Kibbey, CEO of Higg Co., speaks at the annual SAC member conference in Vancouver in 2018.

“The immediate priority is to deliver a great platform experience,” said Kibbey. “Higg Co. will improve and enhance the experience of using the Higg Index and deliver technology for the robust Higg product roadmap ahead.”

SAC will continue to focus on the member-driven aspects of the coalition, such as overseeing the Higg Index Product Roadmap and Higg Index Verification Program. Currently, the SAC counts more than 240 members from leading apparel, footwear and textile businesses, with a combined annual revenue of $500 billion. SAC aims to expand its industry reach, which includes Patagonia, Walmart and Avery Dennison, with the new launch.

“The SAC’s vision of an industry that produces no unnecessary environmental harm and has a positive social impact remains as vital as when we started,” said SAC interim executive director Amina Razvi. “Spinning out the technology capability enables both organizations to focus on accelerating progress toward that vision.”

Watch the video below to see how sustainability-minded Allbirds is succeeding:

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