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SAN FRANCISCO – Research by Apparel Insider suggests the Sustainable Apparel Coalition could be unfairly giving silk an extremely poor environmental rating in its Higg Index. The index gives silk a mammoth environmental impact of 681 per kilo, a figure which – for reasons the SAC has yet to explain – rose by 553 from 128 per kilo in 2019. This is despite the fact that sericulture – silk farming – is widely accepted as an important vehicle for achieving The UN Sustainable Development Goals, based on its environmental and socio-economic characteristics.

When we contacted the SAC to ask for the underlying data behind silk’s Higg rating, they refused to provide it and instead referred us to private business, Quantis, whose analysis produced the ‘score’ for silk.

Quantis has ignored emails from Veronica Bates Kassatly looked into this issue for Apparel Insider, including visiting one of the world’s leading silk producers, in Cambodia as well as looking into existing literature on sericulture by BRAC, the Indian Government and the International Sercicultural Commission (ISC). All of these promote sericulture as an important vehicle for achieving The UN Sustainable Development Goals, based on its environmental and socio-economic characteristics.

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