Sustainability and Social Responsibility

Sustainability Assessment of Factories in an Apparel Supply Chain in South Africa

  • Huantian Cao (University of Delaware)
  • Xingqiu Lou (University of Delaware)
  • Leslie Siron (University of Delaware)
  • Marsha A. Dickson (University of Delaware)


The purpose of this research was to use the Higg Index Facility Modules for Environment and Social/Labor to assess the sustainability performance of factories in an apparel supply chain in South Africa; and to identify challenges and make recommendations for sustainable development. Data were collected from five factories in an apparel supply chain, including one yarn spinning, one knitting, one dyeing and finishing, and two CMTs (cut, make and trim). It was found Higg Facility scores were relatively low for all five factories. Unanswered questions and unavailable data were among the main challenges for the factories. Improving sustainability performance requires that a facility knows what its impacts are, has goals to improve, and provides evidence of improvement. It is recommended that factories examine the Higg questions, and fill the gaps between the current practices and the Higg questions to improve sustainability performance.

How to Cite:

Cao, H., Lou, X., Siron, L. & Dickson, M. A., (2016) “Sustainability Assessment of Factories in an Apparel Supply Chain in South Africa”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 73(1).

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Published on
09 Nov 2016
Peer Reviewed