SAN FRANCISCO, CA.
Today, the Open Apparel Registry (OAR) announces the integration via API of facility name and address data from the Higg sustainability software platform, establishing an unprecedented collaboration to streamline facility data records for the apparel industry. The integration allows a facility to link its Higg Index account to its OAR profile using an OAR ID. Supply chain partners can then use a facility’s OAR ID to find its Higg Index assessments on the Higg platform.
The API integration and cross-referencing of data between the Higg and OAR platforms saves facilities, brands, retailers, and civil society time; collates disparate facility lists into one central, uniform repository; and mitigates the risk of inaccurate data sharing.
By adopting the unique OAR IDs used by thousands across the apparel sector, Higg is signalling its support for the OAR as a key source of credible facility data in the apparel sector. Connecting with the OAR via API enables Higg to maintain facility profile data in real time, ensuring that the data shared between the organisations is current and up to date.
This new API data integration effort represents a significant step towards greater collaboration, transparency and accountability across the global supply chain. It also presents the data in a structured, open format, enabling users to make practical use of the data for the benefit of all.
“As a neutral, open source tool used by the entire apparel industry, the OAR exists to tackle the longstanding problem of facility identification,” says Natalie Grillon, Executive Director of the Open Apparel Registry. “By integrating data with the OAR via API, Higg Co is not only enhancing the necessary processing of data for its customers, but also sending a strong message to industry about the importance of collaboration and the value of a single, central ID to act as a common identifier across databases and systems. In turn, through having a better understanding of shared connections at the facility level, the opportunities for organisations to collaborate on meaningful change are truly enormous.”
“Key to the growth of the OAR is the decision to build the tool as an open data and open source platform”, says Justin Walgran, Lead Developer at Azavea, the geo-spatial software B-Corporation that powers the OAR. “It’s an instrumental part of helping an industry that has previously held data under lock and key to open up supply chains for the benefit of all. Through integrating with the OAR via API, Higg is signalling its support for more open data sharing across the apparel sector. We hope that other influential bodies in the apparel sector will follow Higg’s lead in connecting with the API to synchronize key data points.”
Each facility contributed to the OAR is processed by a sophisticated name and address matching algorithm, which recognises where facilities have already been contributed to the database. This process eradicates data duplications and provides users with an understanding of the multiple affiliations of each facility. Every facility in the OAR is allocated its own unique OAR ID similar to a person’s social security or national identity number. An industry-standard method of identification, the OAR ID eases the management of facility data, creating efficiency for users across the entire apparel sector.
More than 18,000 global facilities, including those that work with the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s global members, already use the Higg platform. Higg facilities new to the OAR can choose to be included in the registry, contributing to the open-source, industrywide effort for shared identification of manufacturing facilities.
“The management of supply chain data records has traditionally been complicated and unreliable,” says John Armstrong, Higg Chief Technology Officer. “By sharing data via API across the Higg and Open Apparel Registry platforms, we are setting a new standard that helps the apparel industry better manage and maintain this data, advancing the goal of transparency and accountability of data throughout the global supply chain.” Voicing her support for the integration, Agata Smeets, Director, Global Sustainability at Gap, said, “We are pleased to see the integration of the OAR facility IDs with Higg Index data. This integration will bring much needed transparency into the apparel supply chain and make it much easier to map our facilities go forward. We look forward to seeing OAR integrated into more platforms in the future.”
Today’s announcement sets a precedent for open data platforms to better meet the transparency demands consumers and policymakers are making of the apparel industry. In addition to helping facilities efficiently manage their data, the new API integration also helps brands more easily maintain supply chain records and comply with efforts like Fashion Revolution’s Fashion Transparency Index and the Transparency Pledge, which require that brands submit facility lists annually, and the Good on You app, which awards credit in its labour rights section for supply chain disclosure via the OAR.
Higg is the sustainability insights platform for consumer goods industries, delivering software and services for measuring, managing, and sharing supply chain performance data.
From materials to products, from facilities to stores, across energy, waste, water, and working conditions, Higg unlocks a complete view of a business’s social and environmental impact. Built on the leading framework for sustainability measurement, Higg is trusted by global brands, retailers, and manufacturers to provide the comprehensive intelligence needed to accelerate business and industry transformation.
Spun out of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition in 2019 as a public-benefit technology company, Higg is the exclusive licensee of the Higg Index, a suite of tools for the standardized measurement of supply chain sustainability.