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The Lycra Company says the site recorded a score in the upper quartile for its Higg Facility Environmental Module (Higg FEM) – a sustainability assessment tool The LYCRA Company is using to determine the Foshan site’s environmental impact, standardise how its environmental performance is measured year-over-year, and identify, prioritise, and scale enhancements.

The Higg FEM score is based on the percentage of completed and verified self-assessment questions related to its environmental management systems, energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, water use, wastewater, air emissions, waste management, and chemical management. The Foshan site completed the full module and had their responses confirmed by an independent verifier.

“Foshan is the first of our six global manufacturing sites to undergo Higg FEM verification. We’re thrilled to achieve such a high score in the upper quartile for our first assessment,” says Choon Hueei Beck, Foshan plant manager, The Lycra Company. “This positive outcome not only demonstrates The Lycra Company’s commitment to sustainability and transparency, but it will also differentiate our products in a highly competitive marketplace.”

At Foshan, the Higg FEM verification was an intensive three-day process that required months of preparation and documentation, according to Beck.

“Thanks to the hard work and dedication of a cross-functional team in Foshan and other locations, we now have a blueprint to repeat this successful result at other facilities, all of which have completed self-certification,” he said.

Located in Guangdong province, the Foshan plant first opened in 2005. The manufacturing site produces Lycra fibre for apparel and Lycra HyFit fibre for personal care products and employs about 500 people.

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A number of Lycra fibre products made at Foshan are Gold Level Material Health certified by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute.

Higg FEM is part of a suite of tools developed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, a global, non-profit alliance of over 270 stakeholders in the fashion industry.

The Lycra Company completed the Higg FEM self-assessment at all six of its Lycra fibre manufacturing sites in March last year.