We have been a key collaborator with the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), a global alliance of retailers, brands, suppliers and others to reduce our environmental impact since its founding in 2010. Scaling the Materials Sustainability Index (MSI) as an accepted industry-wide tool to understand and reduce the impact of materials is one of our key priorities. We are initiating that by becoming one of the first apparel and footwear companies to use the standardized industry measurement tool as a guide to help us improve the average impact of our key materials by 35 percent by 2025. It’s a first step toward what we hope will become a way to standardize and compare impacts across our industry.

Here’s how MSI works.

MSI assigns a score for each phase of the materials based on impact, from cultivation and procurement to final processing. The processing score includes scores for the following impacts: global warming, eutrophication, water scarcity and abiotic resource depletion. Then MSI adds a score for chemistry, which varies by the type of certification. Together, that yields an MSI score for the material. Please note that this model only demonstrates how VF calculates its MSI scores, which can vary from company to company based on the myriad manufacturing processes used across the industry.