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Lycra’s Global Factories Achieve High Higg Assessment Marks

A number of the Lycra Company’s global manufacturing sites have achieved high marks after having their Higg social and environmental self-assessments verified by third parties.

The Wilmington, Del.-based fiber technology group, which develops spandex solutions for apparel and personal care products, announced the results of the outside assessment this week, revealing that four of its facilities scored in the top quartile of those verified. Lycra’s Waynesboro, Va. and Foshan, China factories completed independent verification for the Higg Facility Environmental Module (FEM), while its Taus, Singapore factory attained verification for its Higg Facility Social and Labor Module (FSLM) score. The firm’s production location in Maydown, Northern Ireland saw both its Higg FEM and Higg FSLM self-assessments validated.

The Higg FEM module reviews a company’s emissions, energy use, eco-management systems, waste water output, chemical and water usage. Lycra’s six global manufacturing sites have completed the self-assessment, and the company’s goal is to have 80 percent of Lycra production Higg FEM verified by 2024.

Lycra’s Singapore and Northern Ireland locations received additional third-party verification of their Higg FSLM self-assessments. The assessment gives companies insight into progress related to social and labor conditions at each site they operate, from wages to health and safety. It also helps them identify areas for improvement.

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The company “strives to be an industry leader for sustainability by utilizing credible and independently verified data,” Alan McElreavey, Lycra’s operations sustainability program manager, said. “The Higg Facilities modules are widely used within the apparel industry to assess the environmental impact of manufacturing facilities, to uncover opportunities for improvement, and to measure our progress against established baseline performance.”

Lycra's facilities in the U.S., Northern Ireland, Singapore and China.
Lycra’s facilities in the U.S., Northern Ireland, Singapore and China. Courtesy

Completing those modules “drives behaviors that become embedded in our company, enhancing our sustainability culture and creating measurable change,” he added. Lycra is a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), which developed the Higg assessment tools.

Hector Chapa, Lycra’s Virginia site business integration manager, said the Higg FEM is “aligned with our goals in key impact areas and helps us improve our sustainability profile and operate as a good corporate citizen.” The module “also supports two pillars of our Planet Agenda sustainability platform—corporate responsibility and manufacturing excellence,” Chapa added.

“Our upstream and downstream customers are increasingly asking suppliers like us to provide independent certifications that assess the environmental impact of their facilities, as well as social and labor practices in the workplace,” Kok Beng Chew, Lycra Asia Pacific regional operations director, said. “The Higg Facility Tools are a must-have for business today because they enable us to stay on track and be a responsible spandex producer.”