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Cascale, the Higg Index & Recover™

For Recover™, being a frontrunner in sustainability and circularity in the textile industry goes beyond producing a recycled product. It is about integrating sustainable practices and a sustainable mindset in all aspects of our business.

Attaining scoring across all hubs under the Higg Index helps us assess performance across environmental and social impact areas. From water use to labor rights, we can use the Higg Index to measure impacts holistically and make annual improvements.

The Higg Index is a scoring system developed by the Cascale; a global non-profit alliance of 300 textile industry key players working toward a shared vision of an industry that gives back more than it takes. Cascale developed the Higg Index in collaboration with members to create a global approach for effectively measuring and evaluating social and environmental impacts of value chains and products.

Recover™ as a member of Cascale

As all our products are recycled and we work towards achieving the best environmental and social practices in all of our hubs, Recover™ is fully aligned with the Cascale membership requirements and works to continuously improve our Higg Index scoring. Additionally, the Higg Index is a way of showing to our customers and stakeholders that our fiber is recycled and produced in responsible factories.

Being a member of Cascale allows us to communicate and share ideas with other members and experts from Cascale. Also, we can commit to collective action by setting public goals as informed by Higg Index data.

What is the Higg Index?

The Higg Index is a suite of tools that assess and measure the social and environmental performance of the value chain and the environmental impacts of products. It is used to help organizations make systematic change by identifying, understanding, and measuring areas of improvement. Within the Higg Index, we have access to a benchmarking feature which allows brands to compare their supply chain partners’ performance with all modules in the Higg platform.

Two key assessment suites within the Higg Index are the Facility Social & Labor Module (FSLM) and the Facility Environmental Module (FEM). With an emphasis on labor rights, The FSLM bases scoring off of nine different categories: Recruitment & Hiring, Working Hours, Wages & Benefits, Worker Treatment, Worker Involvement, Health & Safety, Termination, Management Systems and Above & Beyond. With an emphasis on environmental impact, the FEM bases scoring off of seven categories: Environmental Management System, Energy, Water, Wastewater, Air Emissions, Waste, and Chemicals.

When comparing our results to industry averages, we are proud to share that we consistently perform well within the industry. Benchmarking is conducted using the average scoring of organizations in the Apparel and Home Textiles sectors across Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, and Germany. The industry average for the Higg FEM is 2022 was 59.94%. The 2022 Higg FSLM benchmark for the industry was 62.26% and 67.87% in 2023.

Our production hub in Spain performed the Higg FSLM and FEM assessments in 2022 and the results were verified through a third-party onsite audit where we achieved a 66.7% for the Higg FSLM and a 70% for the Higg FEM. In 2023, we strived for improvement with a score of 67.8% for the Higg FSLM and our 2023 results for the Higg FEM are still pending. At our production hub in Bangladesh, we performed our first Higg FSLM and FEM assessments in 2023, so the results cannot yet be published, but we continue striving for having a positive environmental and social impact.

These yearly assessments serve to guide us in our mission to achieving circularity in the fashion industry in an ethical and environmentally conscious way.

How to maintain Cascale membership?

Within Cascale, there are four levels of achievement: Foundational, Progressive, Strategic, and Leader.

Cascale has the expectation that members are to advance a level annually to reflect increasing improvement and achievement. The first year that a member is working towards meeting Membership Requirements, they are expected to strive for the Foundational level, which implies an implementation of foundational practices to adopt, verify and publicly communicate Higg Index data and performance. In the second year, members work towards the Progressive level where they will commit to collective action by setting public goals as informed by Higg Index data with increased adoption and verification levels. As we are newer members, we are currently at this level, and striving towards achieving the Strategic level in the next year, which would entail continued scaling of adoption and verification efforts of Higg Index tools and public disclosure of tool performance improvement.

All requirements and criteria are checked during an annual on-site audit. Recover™ follows a meticulous and cooperative approach, thoroughly preparing documentation and transparently showcasing facilities and records during the audit process.