Our methodology

Because we believe true sustainable impact will happen at scale when everyone is included.

Where the Shine Index started

  • What can’t be measured doesn’t matter.

    We started by leveraging an internal tool that Adore Me had developed and was piloting, which was assessing the environmental performance of products based on their design and certain manufacturing techniques.

    At product-level, AIM (Adore Me Impact Matrix) looks at a fabric’s sustainability attributes as well as recycling practices, waste prevention techniques, water consumption and the use of chemicals involved in the manufacturing of that product.

  • AIM is not perfect. It focuses on the impact of the last stage of manufacturing in the supply chain and fails to fully account for the environmental impact of raw materials --  which represent a significant portion of a garment’s environmental impact. 

    So we went back to the drawing board and created the Shine Index.

Behind the Shine Index

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The Shine Index is our internally-developed grading system which looks at fabrics' sustainability attributes, recycling practices, waste prevention techniques, water consumption and the use of chemicals at product level. It also incorporates data regarding a product’s manufacturer’s energy management.

The Shine Index relies on three components

Raw materials

We take into account carbon emissions, water scarcity and fossil fuels involved in raw materials used to create your garnements. We leverage the Higg standardized assessment of raw materials for this.

Manufacturing facility

We assess the impact of manufacturing facilities by looking at items such as their energy savings & emissions, water management, chemicals management, and waste management. We leverage the GAME methodology developed by Adore Me for this.

Product fabrication

This is how we score sustainable practises. We look at the fibers, the waste, the water and the chemicals used to create your favorite products. This is the AIM matrix we were talking about before, which still has a big place in the Shine Index.

  • Here’s how it works

    We leverage the sum of all scores to define whether a product can make it to Sustainabl.com, and which star rating they’ll get: 

    Under the Shine Index framework, products are scored on a scale of 1 to 50. Only products with a Shine Index score higher than 10 will be admitted on Sustainabl.com

    1 star : any product with a score between 10 and 15. These products made the cut and are on the sustainability track

    2 stars : products with a Shine Index score between 16 and 20. It corresponds to roughly 20% of the products on Sustainabl.com

    3 stars : the very best performers with a score above 21

  • What How to measure
    Raw material
    • Carbon emission
    • Water
    • Fossil fuel
    Score from 0 to 5 based on each raw material usage of resources
    Manufacturing facility
    • Energy
    Score from 0 to 5 based on multiple questions from the Game assessment
    Product fabrication
    • Fiber
    • Waste
    • Water
    • Chemical
    Score from 0 to 5 based on quantitative grid from the AIM index

Our motto: humility & collaboration

Sustainable fashion & lifestyle is a long and never-ending journey, and we’ll be the first to admit there’s always room for improvement. Part of our own improvement will involve collaborating with brands, customers and industry experts —because we’re all still learning, too.

Our drivers are

Team work

We believe true sustainable impact will only happen at scale, when everyone is included. This means brands, suppliers but also customers.


We know we’re not perfect so we are humble.


This means clarity for the customer but also credibility for our index. The index needs to be tested, audited, and eventually transitioned to an independent third party.

Continuous Improvement

We are continuing to work on improving our grading system to better assess products’ sustainability attributes. Sustainability is a never-ending journey, and our tools are meant to evolve as we progress on this path. 


Sustainability tools can’t efficiently be tech-free. Sustainability assessment and improvement is a data-heavy exercise and there is no better way to collect and process data than through tech.

This is an ongoing process

  • We have recently started collecting external input and we are constantly looking for ways to improve. We are looking closely at a number of promising initiatives including some involving key players from the fashion and tech industries. It’s truly humbling. 

    The Shine Index is far from perfect. It still doesn’t fully cover the environmental impact of a product through its entire life cycle. It also fails to adequately account for a product’s social impact on communities. It is relying on some rigorous standardized measurement of raw materials’ sustainability but isn’t - yet - aligned with most industry standards which isn’t ideal. 

    Whether this is due to methodology shortcomings or the lack of reliable quantitative data, we are working on it. 

  • The first iteration of the Shine Index was completed in July 2021 and V2 was launched in November 2021. We’re planning on launching V3 by Q2 2022 based on inputs received from various stakeholders starting with industry experts and eventually other brands and customers.

    And it’s just the beginning. One step at a time we create a path towards a better tomorrow.

    Eventually, when the Shine Index is more mature, ideally by 2024, we would like the Shine Index to transition out of Sustainabl.com and to be managed by a trusted independent organization.

Build with us!

We’re all ears! Whether you have a comment about the people we partner with or a question about our Shine Index, we’re always looking to improve your experience with us. Write us a note or suggestion below!