French fibre specialist Rhodia, part of the Solvay Group, has joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), and will use the group’s Higg Index sustainability measurement tool to help drive environmental and social responsibility across its supply chain.

Rhodia is thought to be the first company in Latin America to join the SAC, which brings together more than 200 global brands, retailers and manufacturers, as well as government, non-profit environmental organisations, and academic institutions.

Including Helly Hansen, Under Armour, adidas, C&A, Gap Inc, H&M, JC Penney, Kohl’s, Levi Strauss & Co, Target Corp, Macy’s, NIKE, Nordstrom, Puma and VF Corp, they are committed to improving supply chain sustainability in the apparel, footwear and textile industries.

“Our purpose in joining the SAC is to contribute to this platform and help to stimulate sustainability performance in Brazil and Latin America,” said Renato Boaventura, CEO of Solvay Group’s Fibras global business unit. “We are pleased to be part of this organisation and confident this participation will add value to the sustainability of our textile products over time.”

In its relationship with the SAC, Rhodia will support the Higg Index, an indicator-based tool that allows suppliers, manufacturers, brands and retailers to evaluate materials, products, facilities and processes based on environmental and product design choices.

A South American producer of polyamide 6.6 fibre and yarns, the Solvay Group’s Fibras global business unit has an operation in Brazil, research and development laboratories in several countries, and production partnerships and agreements in Europe and Asia. The company’s textile brands include Amni, Emana and Rhodianyl.

Meanwhile, the SAC is hoping its improved Higg Facility Environmental Module (Higg FEM) will be deployed globally at 20,000 apparel and textile factories and across 400 brands by the end of 2018.

Already used by around 8,000 businesses globally, it enables factories of any size, anywhere in the world, to assess sustainability performance and easily share results with supply chain partners.

SAC eyes global uptake of Higg FEM sustainability tool