The platform conducting sustainability analysis, Higg Inc, no longer exists. Or at least, it does but with a different name: Worldly. A decision taken with the objective of reducing confusion over who the Higg Index is and what it does. The index is the controversial sustainability index developed by SAC – Sustainable Apparel Coalition and of which Wordly now has “exclusive license”. SAC will maintain partial ownership of the new company. Jason Kibbey, CEO of Worldly, stated that the lively debate over the Index’s capability of assessing materials’ impacts is one of the reasons behind the rebranding. The attempt is to recover its reputation.
Recovering its reputation
Kibbey compared SAC to a movie studio and Wordly to Netflix. Wordly will continue to “transmit” SAC’s “movies”, meaning the Higg Index, but could do the same for a “different” study. In other words, it could make its own. “We understood – admitted Kibbey -, that we needed to build new tools allowing for the management of many areas of the value chain that are still untouched”. (Sourcing Journal).
The holes in the Higg Index
That’s why Wordly launched Factory Data Solution, a new data management tool to “simplify and accelerate the collection process for environmental data of plants and their supply chain. Answering the question: how many plants part of a company’s value chain are there… it is a hard question to answer – says Kibbey -. That’s due to the fact that small suppliers are outside of networks. They are often invisible”. John Armstrong, Chief Technical Officer of Worldly, commented to Business of Fashion: “We truly think this tool will help fill the holes in the data”. Missing information that, without a doubt, didn’t go unnoticed.
The limits of the brands
Why Wordly? “Brands – says Kibbey -, believed sustainability was only a nice thing to have, but they will now have to integrate it in commercial practices. It’s no secret that brands are unable to reach their ambitions when it comes to carbon emissions”.