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Jobs at Sustainable Apparel Coalition

Vice President of Higg Index

Location: Multiple Countries

Type: Full Time

Min. Experience: Senior Executive

Vice President of Higg Index  

Full-time position, flexible Global/Remote location

Position Description


The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) is seeking a highly respected professional to serve as its Vice President of the Higg Index. The radical change of making the apparel and footwear industry more sustainable can only happen if all actors, private and public work together. The SAC and Higg Index can lead this transformation if they are recognized as robust, credible and trusted tools. The Vice President of Higg Index is the senior SAC leader responsible for all aspects of the Higg Index from content development and improvements of tools to verification programs and building consumer facing trust and awareness of the Higg brand. This role is a committed partner with ecosystem organizations (Higg Co, Apparel Impact Institute), other key partners, members, and stakeholders to fulfill the purpose of the SAC.


Primary Duties and Responsibilities


Higg Index Strategy and Leadership - With the completion of the development phases of new Higg tools, focus shifts to implementing improvements and realizing the promised benefits derived from creating the tools. The role is responsible for the following:


  • Improve, upgrade and integrate tools per strategic plan 
    • Engage members in evolving and executing on the Higg Index Roadmap being created in the current strategic planning process that will outline our path for embedding sustainability measurement and analysis in member organizations. Revisit the Roadmap regularly to recognize new opportunities as we discover and prioritize them.
    • Implement the SAC strategy through honest and collaborative relationships. Work to become a trusted and valued partner with other functions in the SAC, sister organizations, partners and membership. Become a face and voice for what is needed to fulfill the SAC’s purpose.
    • Build and maintain a high level of proficiency on each of the Higg Index tools. Use the knowledge of the tools, content, scoring and linkages, in managing the relationship with  Higg Co.
    • Lead the coordination of  the activities between the Higg Index Team and Higg Co to implement improvements per aligned processes. 
    • Deliver business value: creating, updating, and promoting a suite of integrated Higg Index tools designed to assist our membership in meeting the SAC purpose. 
    • Use intelligence gained from member and user input, scoring data analysis, subject matter experts and Higg Co platform improvements to execute on an integrated tool roadmap. 
    • Focus on fast and efficient updates/changes to the Higg Index. Reduce dependence on member driven working groups. Use membership councils for high level reviews and alignment with strategic goals. Provide leadership in developing and updating execution plans (organizational and financial) with senior management and staff.


  • Create consumer-facing and public information  
    • Devise and implement a system for using Higg participation, scoring, validation and transparency to provide reliable B2C information. 
    • Ensure integrity: integrating metrics and building confidence in our data so we can credibly focus and communicate our efforts and build the Higg brand globally 
    • Use data from the tools to create industry metrics, develop footprints and measure progress 
    • Add value to users by obsessing over the consumer experience to make the Higg ecosystem the most frictionless answer to the customers social and environmental measurement and impact reduction needs.
  • Expand the ecosystem - Actively coordinate/consolidate the tools of sister/partner organizations to create a seamless ecosystem of tools and services that simplify the user experience while reducing duplicity.  
    • Work across the organization to improve transparency to ensure we work and deliver against our goals more effectively and professionally (internally and externally).
    • Assist in developing and integrating a decision-making hierarchy and working group taxonomy so that issues and opportunities get appropriately addressed by the right people in a fair, transparent, and timely manner.


Organizational Excellence The spinout of Higg Co and the resultant influx of new SAC staff provides an extraordinary opportunity to create new norms and develop a thriving culture within the SAC and with our critical relationships. This role is responsible for the following: 

  • Lead the Higg Index virtual team - Work to develop a culture that provides a healthy, inclusive  and inspiring environment for the Higg Index team, especially while working remotely. Lead by example while providing autonomy whenever possible. Be a coach, mentor, cheerleader and defender. Provide development and growth opportunities for all. Encourage challenging conversations then commit to the path forward.
    • Anticipate challenges and obstacles
    • Consistently inspire excellence
    • Manage day-to-day operations of the Higg Index team
    • Develop risk mitigation strategies and contingency plans with incomplete information
    • Build a transparent environment that supports constructive criticism and continuous improvement
    • Ensure we have fun and maintain our work/life balance while delivering on our promises
  • Be an SAC leader - Learn all aspects of how the organization works, understand the issues and opportunities in all areas. Seek opportunities to grow your experience beyond your areas of expertise.
    • Develop and maintain sound financial practices – work with senior and finance management, finance committee, and the board in preparing and executing to a board approved budget
    • Develop internal systems to support long-term sustainability of the organization
    • Prioritize opportunities to deliver the most value to employees, members or the industry
    • Coordinate between teams to ensure we are moving towards our organizational-level goals and staying on our scheduled timeline
    • Create effective communication channels that produce feedback loops for strengthening our processes, products, and personal development
    • Foster collaboration: creating a fun and open environment that encourages cross-discipline problem-solving and professional development
    • Utilize performance management review process that focuses the work; build accountability; and foster professional development
    • Create regular touch-bases, brainstorms and workshops to remain in sync and aligned on how to address issues
    • Develop a dashboard of KPIs to measure team and organizational success
    • Maintain a leading working knowledge of significant developments and trends in the industry value chain and related fields



Ideal candidate has:

  • Direct experience with SAC tools, the SAC organization and the apparel, footwear and textile industries. Contributed to the increased professionalism of the organization by working collaboratively with teammates and stakeholders to ensure that processes and systems are robust and executed while honoring SAC’s culture of innovation.
  • 15+ years of previous business leadership positions with direct responsibility for delivery and expansion of products or initiatives with similar complexity and financial management responsibility as the Higg Index
  • Proven team leadership experience by building healthy and thriving culture in a team especially when geographically dispersed
  • Strong experience and passion for implementing and leading sustainability focused efforts
  • Innate curiosity and ability to check their ego at the door
  • Ability to work autonomously, with a high-degree of maturity, personal integrity and self-motivation
  • Motivation by the mission of the organization and knows that success comes through teamwork and strong relationships with coworkers and members.
  • Proactive understanding of the implications of their actions.
  • Ability to work equally effectively across a variety of technical marketing, membership, finance, operations, communications and external arenas 
  • Bias for keeping the customer first and building solutions that provide unexpected value 
  • Educational and diverse work experience to provide well rounded, wholistic approach to creating solutions
  • Built strong community with users while growing multiple internal teams
  • Strong verbal, written, analytical, and interpersonal skills
  • Professionalism, empathy and the ability to work as part of a team, maintain a sense of humor, and interact with a diverse array of people from all over the world
  • International team management and experience required
  • Willingness and ability to engage in regular domestic and international travel


Reporting Structure and Timeline

This is a full time role, reporting directly to the Executive Director with a start date of September 2020.  


Diversity, Compensation, and Location

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition offers a competitive salary that is commensurate with experience and a competitive benefits package, including health (medical, dental, vision), paid time off, and a matched retirement plan. The SAC’s members are global organizations, and as such, the SAC staff has shifted hours on certain days of the week to accommodate different time zones. This position is global and may work remotely; relocation is not a requirement. 

SAC is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.


  1. Answer the following four questions in 150 words or less
    1. What is your involvement with and use of the Higg Index?
    2. How has your education and career prepared you to be  the VP of Higg Index?
    3. What is your vision for the SAC as we embark on a new strategic plan?
    4. How do you lead, from team level to cross industry collaboration?
  2. Resume and a brief cover letter including your salary requirements. 
  3. Links to articles you have written or in which you are referenced, recordings of presentations or public speaking


About the Organization

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) was founded by a group of sustainability leaders from the global apparel and footwear industry who recognize addressing our current social and environmental challenges are both a business imperative and an opportunity.

SAC’s Purpose

Through multi-stakeholder engagement, the SAC seeks to lead the industry toward a shared vision of sustainability built upon a common approach for measuring and evaluating apparel and footwear product sustainability performance that spotlights opportunities for technological innovation and priorities for action. The Higg Index, our common measurement tool, is currently in use by thousands of brands, retailers, and facilities within our industry.

SAC is a fast-paced organization that has an ambitious mission that seeks to reward those who challenge themselves to provide membership and the organization with very high-quality deliverables and engagement in line with our mission. SAC values trust and strong relationships where team members collaborate effectively and support each other and the work across the organization.


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