Among these, the SAC has noted that it had the largest growth in over a decade in the last past two years, with 18 new organisations and over 280 members from more than 33 countries.

In December 2022, the organisation launched its Decarbonization Program, aimed at supporting and driving the adoption of science-based targets (SBTs) and urgent emissions reduction. As of 2022, 46% of SAC members have set or begun the process of setting SBTs.

The SAC also highlighted the development of the Higg Facility Environmental Module (FEM) 4.0 and the major revision of the Higg Brand & Retail Module (BRM), as well as one of the largest updates so far for the Higg Materials Sustainability Index (MSI).

In 2022, the Higg MSI was heavily criticised by the leather industry and other organisations, including consumer agencies.

SAC reports that an independent third-party expert review of the Higg Index is being carried out to ensure continuous improvement of the suite of tools, including a collaboration with KPMG and the recruitment of three panels of independent experts. Findings are promised in the coming months.

CEO Amina Razvi said: “The textile and apparel industry has rightly been facing increasing scrutiny from consumers, stakeholders and regulators alike when it comes to its impact and progress. Against this backdrop, 2022 provided an opportunity for self-reflection for the SAC.

“It has ultimately helped us to learn, grow and evolve. We are even more certain that collective action is the only way we are going to transform into an industry that gives more than it takes — to the planet and its people.”