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Care What You Wear

You Look Great in Green: Clothing Industry Gets a Makeover, Maybe

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Clothes for a Change Campaign page.

The clothing industry is finally partaking in a little retail therapy, as a band of brands - from Adidas to Patagonia to Walmart - takes the first steps in measuring the environmental impacts of making our tees, ties, and toe shoes.

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition, which represents around a third of the world's apparel dollars, publicly released its long-awaited Higg Index Thursday morning. The index measures the overall practices and policies of a company, specific product components (such as fabric), and the water, waste, and energy used to run facilities (millhouses, warehouses, etc.).

The Higg Index is a mashup of tools developed by Nike and the Outdoor Industry Association, a trade group for companies that make gear and clothes for the hiker/boater/climber set. The coalition piloted the index with over 60 companies and hundreds of products and spent over 1,300 human hours improving the tool, according to Executive Director Jason Kibbey.

If you're waiting for an "organic"-style label for clothing, don't hold your breath, however.