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Cascale unveils enhanced Higg BRM tool for fashion sustainability


Cascale, formerly known as the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, has unveiled the latest iteration of the Higg Brand and Retail Module (BRM), a pivotal component of the Higg Index suite of tools. This update underscores Cascale's unwavering commitment to advancing and refining sustainability standards within the textile, apparel, and footwear sectors.

The Higg BRM serves as a primary framework tailored specifically for brands and retailers to assess and enhance their Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) performance. By evaluating 11 critical impact areas across global value chains, the tool promotes a comprehensive approach to sustainability management.

Developed in collaboration with Worldly, a leading platform for environmental and social impact data in the apparel and footwear industries, the Higg BRM 2023 update introduces subtle yet significant enhancements. These include refined guidance, integration of new social metrics, and an adaptive framework aligned with the swiftly evolving sustainability landscape.

Maravillas Rodriguez Zarco, senior director of Higg Index Strategy & Operations at Cascale, emphasized the community-driven nature of the Higg BRM, positioning it as a beacon guiding industry stakeholders toward sustainable practices. Zarco highlighted its compatibility with prominent sustainability frameworks like the Textile Exchange's Material Benchmark and the ZDHC Brands to Zero program.

The updated Higg BRM offers several benefits, including streamlined corporate sustainability strategies, avoidance of redundancy in sustainability initiatives, and support for reporting obligations. Notably, upgraded benchmarking capabilities provide a holistic view of companies' performance, enabling identification of emerging trends and avenues for improvement.

Cascale's journey to enhance the Higg BRM involved an extensive discovery phase in 2022, including consultations with industry stakeholders and evaluation of multiple assessment frameworks. Collaborations with key industry players such as Textile Exchange, ZDHC, Fair Wear, and STTI informed the development process, resulting in a refined, industry-specific ESG framework.

A verification pilot conducted in 2023 with Cascale member brands and verifier bodies underscored the organization's commitment to data accuracy and industry relevance. To facilitate understanding and adoption of the updated tool, Cascale will host a members-only webinar, showcasing key features and outlining future enhancements.

The launch of the enhanced Higg BRM signifies a pivotal step in advancing sustainability within the fashion industry, empowering stakeholders to drive meaningful change towards a more sustainable future.



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