Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2017

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Catherine Milburn

Second Advisor

Dale Miller

Third Advisor

Lonni Pearce


This honors thesis will examine the potential role and influence of the Higg Index scores, introduced by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) on sustainable consumption habits. The SAC continue to work on the Higg modules, from which the scores are generated, but it hasn’t done any substantial consumer related studies. This thesis makes first steps towards evaluation of the Higg Index scores in the development of sustainable consumption habits. As a preliminary study, I wrote a survey to see if apparel consumers from the state of Colorado would express an interest in the scores on the apparel hangtags and if they were willing to pay more for an increase in the value of the scores. The survey results, model runs, and other similar studies indicate that the majority of consumers support the concept of sustainable apparel and have already developed sustainable habits, thus the scores can influence them to buy and spend more on sustainable apparel that have higher scores. When the scores are released to the public, it’s important for the marketing teams to educate consumers who haven’t developed yet their sustainable habits on the purpose of the scores.