The Natural Fibers Alliance Calls for the Promotion of Natural Fibers and the Suspension of the HIGG Index

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WASHINGTON, June 16, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Effective immediately, the Natural Fibers Alliance (NFA) is calling for an immediate suspension of the use of the HIGG Index considering the recent New York Times article “How Fashion Giants Recast Plastic as Good for the Plant.” Developed in 2012, the HIGG Index was created to help brands, retailers and manufacturers assess the sustainability of materials for use in footwear, garments, and other consumer products. Since that time many within the natural fibers community (leather, wool, fur, silk etc.) and fashion activists have voiced concerns over the index’s questionable support of harmful synthetic materials made from fossil fuels that run counter to long term environmental sustainability goals. 

“It’s simple, natural biodegradable fibers to include leather, wool, fur, silk, etc. are more sustainable and better for our planet than plastic clothing. The culture of fast fashion is as much consumer driven as it is a direct result of corporate greenwashing. The only way to lower environmental costs and impact is to buy clothing that lasts, repurpose older pieces and support a culture of slow fashion based on high quality long-lasting materials,” says Mike Brown, head of sustainability and public affairs for the Natural Fibers Alliance.

According to the Changing Markets Foundation (CMF), ‘Fossil Fashion: The Hidden Reliance on Fossil Fuels’, the use of such synthetic materials derived from crude oil and gas has doubled in clothing, creating both a reliance on the material and a boom in the cheap, fast fashion industry. This boom has had a direct environmental impact that will lead to an eventual ecological disaster. The CMF estimates the use of synthetic fibers will increase from 69% to 73% market share within the next 10 years.

The NFA feels that legislation and effective regulation are the only clear path forward. Sustainable natural fiber derived products should be the norm, not the exception and the only way to achieve that is to level the playing field, placing responsibility on companies through their compliance with regulation, allowing customers to make informed choices rather than having that decision manipulated by data or overreaching animal rights activists.

About Natural Fibers Alliance 

The Natural Fibers Alliance is a coalition of producers and associations in both the US and Canada that support the use of natural sustainable materials in clothing, accessories, and other goods. 

Contact: [email protected]

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SOURCE Natural Fibers Alliance

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