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Lycra Wraps Higg Self-Assessment at Six Sites

In a major sustainable production achievement, the Lycra Company has completed the Higg Facility Environmental Module (FEM) self-assessment at all six of its Lycra fiber manufacturing sites.

The robust impact assessment–which reviews environmental management systems, energy use, emissions, water usage, wastewater, and waste and chemical management at the facility level–helps manufacturing locations establish an environmental baseline to pursue continuous improvement.

The Lycra Company’s Maydown site, located in the northwest of Northern Ireland, piloted the module more than a year ago. Based on initial learnings, the remaining five production facilities completed self-assessments simultaneously.

“I would like to thank all of the sites and the team that assisted them for their efforts in achieving this significant milestone,” Gary Huffman, director of operations excellence at Lycra, said. “Having all sites complete the module underscores our commitment to manufacturing excellence across a broad variety of sustainability parameters and gives us a framework for future improvements.”

Modules were posted to the Higg portal in December and can now be shared securely with customers upon request through the Higg platform, offering insights into the company’s sustainability performance and reinforcing its commitment to transparency.

Nish Vasavada, global director of environment, health and safety (EHS) for the Lycra Company, said his team is developing a plan for an approved independent third party to audit the site modules this year.

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“This would give us confirmation of our performance and likely provide new insights as to how and where we can improve,” Vasavada said.

The Higg Index suite of tools was developed by The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC). The Higg FEM gives manufacturers, brands and retailers a clear, holistic picture of facility-specific environmental performance and impacts. Assessments help identify and scale opportunities for sustainability improvements that protect the well-being of factory workers, local communities and the environment. The Lycra Company, which noted that it is the only spandex producer that is a member of the SAC, plays an active role on several of the coalition’s sub-committees.

Third-party assessments like the Higg FEM are a key component of the company’s sustainability platform, Planet Agenda, which spans all aspects of business operations through three core pillars–corporate responsibility, manufacturing excellence and product sustainability.

The company, headquartered in Wilmington, Del., also has certifications from the Global Recycled Standard for its Eco Made family of recycled products; Standard 100 certification by Oeko-Tex for Lycra, Lycra T400, Coolmax and Thermolite fibers, and Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard Material Health Certificates (Gold Level) for 25 Lycra fiber products.