Step-By-Step Instructions

Start The Process

1. Navigating the Higg Product Module (Higg PM)

Once you have created and activated your account:

  1. Click on the “Product Tools” tab at the top of the page
  2. Select “Higg Product Module” to access the Higg Product Module Dashboard

Starting from the Higg Product Module dashboard, it is possible to:

  • View your usage (Allocated Items used and remaining)
  • Access the Product Library
  • Manage Settings
  • Create new products

2. Managing Settings

To access the Higg PM settings, click on “Settings” in the top navigation bar of the dashboard. The Settings screen allows users to customize three distinct settings related to a company’s products:

  • Seasons
  • Disposal Modes
  • Distribution Info

Any information customized in the Settings section will automatically apply to all New Product Assessments, overriding the default settings. Updating these settings is entirely optional. Default values are provided and should only be updated if supporting documentation is available.  

Seasons

There are 4 default seasons included in the Higg PM:

  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Fall
  • Winter

A season does not need to be assigned when creating a product. However, the season can be used at a later stage for benchmarking and comparisons, so it is recommended to include seasons when possible.

In the “Seasons” menu, it is possible to add new seasons and to edit or delete the four default seasons.

To add a new season, click “Add New Season” at the bottom of the page. To edit or delete seasons, click the “Edit” or “Delete” buttons next to the name of the season to be changed.

Disposal Modes

Disposal modes define how manufacturing waste, excess inventory and samples are managed at the company level.

Disposal modes can be customized by rate and by percentage recycled/downcycled or landfilled/incinerated.

For definitions and guidance on customizing these disposal modes, please see Disposal Modes in the Higg Product Module How to Higg content guidance.       

If any percentages are adjusted to reflect your company’s operations, they will apply to all future products for Finished Goods Manufacturing disposal route proxy values. To return to the system default settings, hover over a percentage and click “Reset to Default” at any time.

Distribution Info

The Distribution Info section enables users to customize information related to a company’s distribution channels. There are four distribution rates that can be adjusted:

  • Percentage of product sold through your own distribution
  • Of those products sold through your own distribution
  • Top of Form
    • Percentage of product sold online and in store
  • Bottom of Form
    • Percentage of product returns from online sales and in store sales
    • Restock rate for product returns online or in store

The rates specified in this section will impact the calculation of your logistics and retail impacts in those sections of a New Product Assessment.

Updating these settings is entirely optional. Default values are provided and should only be updated if supporting documentation is available.

Please Note:

  • It is possible to customize just one of the fields or all of them.
  • The “Percentage of product sold Online / In Store” fields are linked: increasing or decreasing one percentage point will automatically increase or decrease the other.

It is possible to update the same Distribution Info while performing a New Product Assessment, in the Overview Info section. However, updating Distribution Info in Settings will automatically apply to all New Product Assessments and will not need to be customized in both places.

3. Creating a Custom Product

3.1 Overview Info

To create a product and adjust product information, click the “Create Product” button on the Higg Product Module dashboard.

This will pull up the Overview Info page of the New Product Assessment section, which allows for the entry of basic product information.

There are two types of information that can be entered on this page:

  • Required information, indicated by yellow fields: without this information, it is not possible to proceed to the next step of the product creation process.
  • Additional information, indicated by grey fields: while it is possible to proceed to next steps without completing these fields, this information will be useful to better compare different products in the Product Library.

Required information:

  • Product Name
  • Product Type, which will determine which processes are available in the Finished Goods Manufacturing section
  • Product Category, which will be used for benchmarking products in the same category

Additional information:

  • Model/Style Number, which is useful as an internal product reference for those intending to use the Higg API
  • Season
  • Previously Used Product
  • Distribution Info

Once all of the required information has been entered, the “Save & Bill of Materials” button will activate on the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. Clicking this button will pull up the “Bill Of Materials” page, which is the next step of the New Product Assessment process.

As soon as a unique Product Name has been entered, the “Save as Draft” button will activate on the bottom right-hand corner of the page. Draft products can be revised and saved as final at any time.

Previously Used Product

When beginning a New Product Assessment, it is possible to indicate whether the product has previously been owned or used, requiring conversion back into sellable condition. If this option is selected, the weight of the previously used product and the transport associated with its processing can be entered, removing the environmental impacts of new material processing.

Please Note: Previously Used Product does not appear in further sections of the Higg PM and can only be customized here.

Once the Previously Used Product field has been activated, the following fields will appear:

  • Weight and unit of measure
  • Source and destination
  • Shipping mode
  • Distance and distance unit
  • Estimate Distance checkbox

There are two options for inputting the shipping distance:

  • Option 1: Select a mode of transport in the dropdown menu and enter a custom distance
  • Option 2: Use the “Estimate Distance” function by checking the box to the right of the row and entering a source location and an end destination. The system will calculate the shortest distance between the two points.

Once the distance and mode of transport have been entered or calculated, the Higg PM will then add the environmental impacts of this transport to the product’s absolute impact.

Distribution Info

The Distribution Info section enables users to customize information related to a company’s distribution channels.

Users can update the Distribution Info either here in the Overview Info section of a New Product Assessment or prior to starting a New Product Assessment, in the Settings tab. Updating Distribution Info in the Settings tab will automatically apply to all New Product Assessments and will not need to be customized in both places.

For information on how to complete Distribution Info, please see Distribution Info in the Managing Settings section, above.

After completing at least the required information fields, the “Save & Bill of Materials” button will activate on the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. Clicking this button will open The Bill of Materials (BOM) section.

3.2 Bill of Materials (BOM)

In this section, the goals are to enter the different materials, trims, and packaging materials that make up a product and to manage the “Net Use”, or the amount of material that is included in the finished product, as compared to the total amount of material needed to create the product.

Each entry in the Bill of Materials will display environmental impact scores in five categories. These five environmental impact indicators are the same indicators used to assess impact in the Higg Materials Sustainability Index (Higg MSI):

  • Global Warming Potential (measured in kg of CO2 eq)
  • Eutrophication (measured in PO4 eq)
  • Water Scarcity (measured in m3 of water)
  • Resource Depletion, Fossil Fuels (measured in MJ of energy)
  • Chemistry (measured in Chemistry Units)

Although the environmental impact indicators are the same in the Higg Product Module as in the Higg MSI, please note that Higg MSI scores are NOT displayed in the Higg Product Module. To view Higg MSI scores for a material, trim, or packaging material that will be included in the Bill of Materials, please view the example material or create a custom material in the Higg MSI.

In the BOM section, it is possible to:

  • Select the different materials, trims, and packaging that make up the product
  • Move from material weights to material yields
  • Manage Net Use (also known as Cutting Efficiency)
  • Edit or update the shipping information for your selected materials

The materials that can be included in the Bill of Materials will be pulled from the Higg MSI and can come from any of your Higg MSI Libraries:

  • Example Materials
  • Acquired Materials
  • Custom Materials
  • Trims/Components
  • Packaging

Material Weights versus Material Yields

When adding a material from the Higg MSI Custom Materials Library to the Bill of Materials, note whether “Yields” have been indicated in the units of measure when customizing the material.

If Yields have been selected at the point of customizing the material in the Higg MSI, then Yields will be available as an option when creating the Bill of Materials in the Higg PM.

Net Use

Net use represents the amount of material that will ultimately be incorporated into your product versus the total amount of material needed to create your product. It is also known as cutting efficiency.

Net use has a default proxy value that differs depending on product category. If the net use percentage needs to be adjusted to ensure an accurate product net weight, this can be done by selecting the desired field and entering the exact percentage value or clicking on the arrows in the field to adjust the desired percentage. For more information on how to increase the accuracy of the net use, please see Net Use in the Higg Product Module How to Higg content guidance.

Net use has been set for all trims and packaging at 100%. This cannot be edited as the net use is already included when creating a trim.

Shipping Info

A standard 500km of shipping by truck will be entered by default for each material added to the Bill of Materials. This can be edited by selecting the “Additional Adjustments” icon in the row of the desired material.

Once the “Edit Shipping Info” screen opens, there will be two ways to edit the 500km truck default value:

  • Option 1: Select a mode of transportation in the dropdown menu and enter a custom distance
  • Option 2: Use the “Estimate Distance” function by checking the box to the right of the row and entering a source location and an end destination. The system will calculate the shortest distance between the two points.

When all shipping adjustments have been finalized, click the “Save” button in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen to return to the Bill of Materials screen. A red dot will appear above the “Additional Adjustments” icon to indicate that this parameter has been customized.

Environmental Impact Data

Once a material is added to the Bill of Materials and its weight or units have been entered, the associated environmental impacts will appear to the right of the material information in the Bill of Materials table.

Environmental impacts will appear for each material included in the Bill of Materials and will also be aggregated for the whole product. The aggregated data is shown along the bottom left of the screen in the Absolute Product Impact bar.

As you move from section to section in the New Product Assessment, the fields in the Absolute Product Impact bar will automatically update, providing a dynamic overview of the product’s total absolute environmental impact and weight.

Net product weight is shown in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen alongside Absolute Product Impact bar.

Once all inputs are finalized in the Bill of Materials, clicking the “Save” button in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen will advance the screen to the Finished Goods Manufacturing section.

3.3 Finished Goods Manufacturing

The Finished Goods Manufacturing section allows for the customization of different process stages that transform a raw material into a finished product. The different process stages available to select for apparel and home textiles are:

  • Product Assembly
  • Garment Preparation and Coloration
  • Garment Printing
  • Garment Washing and Finishing
  • Disposal Modes

For footwear, the different process stages are:

  • Pre-Assembly Footwear
  • Stockfitting
  • Assembly
  • Finishing – Footwear
  • Disposal Modes

To customize a process stage, first select the desired stage, then click on “Add Another Process.”

This will open the Process Selection screen, where the desired processes can be selected.

To see the detailed impact data for each process, click on the process name. Several processes can be selected at once.

It is possible to add as many processes as needed to each one of the process stages, however, please note that each process must have a Unit and an Amount indicated.

A vertical green line will appear next to the process stage on the left-hand side of the screen when one or more processes have been selected in that stage.

Once all processes have been selected and customized within all relevant process stages, click “Save” in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen to move on to the Review and Confirm screen. This will advance the screen to the Packaging section.

3.4 Packaging

The Packaging section enables users to add packaging materials that are not already included in the Bill of Materials. Packaging can be added separately for online sales and for offline sales. The percentage of online versus offline sales has been set in the Distribution Info section.

To add packaging, select the “Add Packaging Materials” link under the relevant distribution type.

Clicking this link will pull up your Packaging Library from the Higg Materials Sustainability Index, including all Custom and Example packaging materials.

Once all relevant packaging materials have been selected, clicking on the arrow at the top of the screen will bring back the Packaging section of the Higg PM, where the amounts of each type of packaging material can be customized.

All materials created in the Higg MSI’s Packaging Library are specified in “units.” When using these materials in the Packaging section of the Product Module, a number of units must be entered for each packaging material.

Once all inputs are finalized in the Packaging section, clicking the “Save & Logistics” button in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen will advance the screen to the Logistics section.

3.5 Logistics

The Logistics section can be used to include any inbound transportation impacts from the finished goods manufacturer to the distribution center, as well as any outbound transportation impacts from the distribution center to retail stores (for in-store sales) or from the distribution center to customers (for online sales).

Updating these settings is entirely optional. Default values are provided and should only be updated if supporting documentation is available.

For both Inbound and Outbound transportation flows, the customization options are:

  • Product source and destination
  • Shipping mode
  • Distance and distance unit

There are two options for inputting distance:

  • Option 1: Select a mode of transport in the dropdown menu and enter a custom distance
  • Option 2: Use the “Estimate Distance” function by checking the box to the right of the row and entering a source location and an end destination. The system will calculate the shortest distance between the two points.

Once all inputs are finalized in the Logistics section, clicking the “Save & Retail” button in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen will advance the screen to the Retail section.

3.6 Retail

The Retail section can be used to customize the energy and water use associated with owned/known distribution center and retail store operations.

Updating these settings is entirely optional. Default values are provided and should only be updated if supporting documentation is available.

Separated into Distribution Center data and Retail data, proxy values can be customized for:

  • Non-renewable electricity (per product), measured in kWh/unit
  • Natural gas (per product), measured in kWh/unit
  • Water usage (per product), measured in liters/unit

Once all inputs are finalized in the Retail section, clicking the “Save & Product Care” button in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen will advance the screen to the Product Care section.

3.7 Product Care

The Product Care section enables users to select the fabric category that best describes a product to calculate the impact of a standard customer care scenario associated with the use of the product.

This section also provides the option to create an Alternative Care scenario by customizing settings. Customizing Alternative Care settings is entirely optional. Default values are provided under Standard Care and should only be updated if supporting documentation is available.

There are four different fabric categories that can be selected (Please Note: not all categories will appear for all product types):

  • Cotton
  • Synthetic
  • Wool
  • Delicate

Each of these fabric categories is associated with a Standard Care scenario and connected impacts based on industry averages. Standard Care scenarios cannot be customized.

To pull up the Standard Care data for your product, select the appropriate fabric category that best describes the product. The fabric type will determine the Standard Care selection for each of the following categories:

  • Wearings per wash, the number of times a garment is worn before it is washed
  • Washings per lifetime, based on wearings per wash and the assumed lifetime of the product
  • Wash settings
    • Machine Wash Hot
    • Machine Wash Warm
    • Machine Wash Cold
    • Hand Wash
    • Hand/Spot Clean
    • Dry Clean
    • No Washing
  • Drying settings
    • Line/air dry
    • Machine dry
    • No drying
  • Ironing settings
    • No ironing
    • Ironing (average temperature)
    • Ironing (low temperature)
    • Ironing (high temperature)

Standard Care values will be used to calculate total product impacts.

To explore Alternative Care scenarios, go to the Alternative Care section of the page, where it is possible to customize the same care categories and sub-categories listed under Standard Care, above. 

Wearings per Wash and Washings per Lifetime can be customized by inserting values in the field, while Wash settings, Drying settings, and Ironing settings can be customized by using the drop-down menus in each row. It is possible to adjust all of the fields or just some of them.

Alternative Care values will not be used to calculate total product impacts, but will inform the Alternative Care impact per use calculation found in the Product Module dashboard.

Once all inputs are finalized in the Product Care section, clicking the “Save & End Of Use” button in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen will advance the screen to the End Of Use section.

3.8 End of Use

The End Of Use section enables users to customize the end of use pathways, also known as end of life, for a product.

Updating these settings is entirely optional. Default values are provided and should only be updated if supporting documentation is available.

There are three customization options in this section:

  • Repair
  • Rewear
  • Recycling/Downcycling

It is possible to update some or all of the available options.

Under the Repair section, there are four levels of Design for Repair to select from in the drop-down menu:

  • Level 0 – No Design for Repair (the default selection)
  • Level 1 – Design for Repairability
  • Level 2 – Level 1 + DIY guides / list of repair services
  • Level 3 – Cross-border repair facilitation or promotion (this option will open an additional question regarding the availability of repair services in your distribution regions)

In the Rewear section, it is possible to input a custom value reflecting the percentage of annual production volume that is taken back and used again.

In the Recycling/Downcycling portion, it is possible to input a custom value reflecting the percentage of annual production volume that is taken back and recycled or downcycled.

Customizing any of the three available sections will modify the default End of Use impact associated with your product. It is visible in the box marked “Specify End of Use Scenario” on the right-hand side of the screen. In this box:

  • The grey bar shows the default End Of Use scenario
  • The bright blue bar shows the impact variation percentage of your customized End Of Use scenario.

Once all inputs are finalized in the End Of Use section, clicking the “Save & Duration of Service” button in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen will advance the screen to the Duration of Service section.

3.9 Duration of Service

The Duration of Service section enables users to select characteristics that contribute to extending the typical usable life of a product. Responses in this section will be used to calculate the impact of the duration of service associated with your product.

Completing this section is entirely optional. Not all product categories will have duration of service factors listed.

Duration of service customization options are available for the following product types:

  • Waterproof Breathable Jacket
  • Athletic Shoe
  • Casual Shoes
  • Denim Product
  • Bed Linens
  • Woven Product
  • Knit Product

Once the product type is selected, the screen will show a series of questions based on common quality tests for the specific product type. The questions determine whether or not your product reaches a certain level of durability, performance, or quality that would extend its duration of service.

If the responses in this section indicate that the product’s duration of service is extended, the product’s absolute environmental impact will increase. This is due to the longer use phase, which will result in more impact incurred from ongoing product care (e.g., washing and drying).

However, an extended duration of service will decrease the product’s impact per use. This is due to the longer use phase, which will result the product being worn more times.

Absolute and per-use environmental impacts can be compared once the product assessment has been saved.

3.10 Reviewing and Finalizing Your Product

The “Review and Confirm” section allows users to:

  • Review each step of the New Product Assessment
  • Make changes to any step of the New Product Assessment
  • Save the product as draft or as final
  • Download a PDF document detailing each one of the modelling steps

To review each step of the New Product Assessment, click through the menu on the left-hand side of the page or simply scroll down the page.

To make changes to any section, click the purple “Edit [section name]” button at the end of each section summary.

Bill Of Materials

Finished Good Manufacturing

Packaging

Logistics

Retail

Product Care

End Of Use

Duration Of Service

Saving Your Product

After reviewing all data inputs in the Review and Confirm section, save the product as final by clicking the purple “Save as Final” button in the left-hand navigation bar.

It is also possible to save the product as a draft by clicking the grey “Save as Draft” link to the left of the “Save as Final” button.

Downloading Your Results

To download the results of the product assessment, click “Download Product Datasheet” in the top right-hand corner of the Review and Confirm section.

A PDF document containing all of the section summaries in the Review and Confirm section will download to your device.

Next Steps

4. Understanding the Product Library and Scores

Once one or more product has been saved in the Product Library, it is possible to view impacts and other information about the product(s).

Products in the Product Library can be sorted by any of the column header categories by clicking next to a header and toggling the blue arrow that will appear to indicate ascending or descending order. These column headers are:

  • Name
  • Style number
  • Product Category
  • Any of the five Impact Areas
    • Global Warming
    • Eutrophication
    • Water Scarcity
    • Resource Depletion/Fossil Fuels
    • Chemistry
  • Gross Weight
  • Net Weight
  • Status (this can also be filtered by Draft or Final)
  • Created On (date)
  • Created By (user)
  • Last Edit (date)

Product impacts can be viewed in four different ways:

  • Absolute Impacts
  • Per Use Impacts
  • Aggregated view
  • Detailed view

In any of these four views, there is the additional option to show product impacts with Alternative Care scenarios applied.

Absolute Impact View – Aggregated View

The Absolute Impact view can be accessed by toggling the “Absolute Impacts” button at the top of the table header. This will show impacts over the duration of the product’s life.

Per Use Impact view – Aggregated View

The Per Use Impact view can be accessed by toggling the “Per Use Impacts” button at the top of the table header. This will show impacts per each use over the course of the product’s life.

Detailed View – Per Use or Absolute Impacts

The detailed view of a product can be accessed by clicking on the “+” sign on the right hand side of each product listing row.

The detailed view shows the product’s impacts incurred in each section of the product assessment:

  • Bill Of Materials
  • Finished Goods Processes
  • Packaging
  • Logistics
  • Retail
  • Product Care
  • End of Use

Alternative Care Scenario View

The Alternative Care scenario view can be accessed by checking the “Alternative Care” box at the top of the table header. Alternative Care impacts can be shown or hidden in any view of the Product Library (Aggregated or Detailed views, showing Per Use or Absolute Impacts).

Impact Detail Pop-ups

When a product listing is shown Aggregated View, hovering your cursor over an Impact Area will activate a pop-up box showing the production stage at which the majority of the impact in that impact area was incurred.

5. Comparing Products

Once two or more products have been saved in the Product Library, it is possible compare the impacts of products.

To compare products, select the desired products from the Product Library by checking the boxes to the left of the product names and click on the “Compare” button on the bottom left-hand side of the screen. The “Compare” button will be activated once two or more products have been selected.

It is possible to compare products from different product categories—however, we encourage users to compare products within similar product categories to get more meaningful insights.

6. Editing and Duplicating Products

The Product Library allows for the following additional actions:

  • Edit a product
  • Delete a product
  • Duplicate a product

All three actions can be taken regardless of whether a product is saved as Draft or as Final.

To select an action, first select a product by clicking the button to the left of the product’s name, then click the appropriate button that will appear at the bottom of the screen: “Edit Product,” “Delete Product,” or “Duplicate Product.”

Please Note:

  • The “Edit Product”, “Delete Product”, and “Duplicate Product” buttons only appear once a product has been selected
  • All deletions are final. There is no way to re-import a deleted product.

 

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