Using and consuming water can lead to water scarcity and water stress. The actual impact of water use and consumption is specific to the water available in the particular geographical location. In water scarce areas, water use and consumption can have a large negative impact. In areas that are not under water stress, the use of the water (or even the consumption of the water) might not impact the overall ecosystem in the region.
Water use refers to the water we are holding in manufacturing, for example in dyeing machines, for cooling or cleaning equipment. In many cases, a manufacturer might return most of that water to the original watershed. However, the water is still in use for as long as the facility requires it to be.
Water consumption, on the other hand, is water that is not returned to the original source. It’s no longer available for reuse. For example, evaporation or cotton field irrigation are examples of water consumption.
OUR ACTIONS TO REDUCE WATER CONSUMPTION
By applying dyeing technologies that don’t require water, for example solution dyeing, we can save up to 30L of water per KG of textile. We have moved a lot of our linings and base layers to solution dyed fabrics. In addition, we are introducing Supercritical CO2 dyeing the coming season, that is also a dyeing technology which does not require any water.
We don’t always we need new and innovative technologies to save on water. A lot can be achieved by focusing on resource efficiency and low liquid ratio dyeing. Low liquid ratio dying is a technology based on conventional dyeing that uses less water and also less energy. We are mapping the wet processes in our supply chain via the HIGG Facility and Environmental Module and target to have 80% of our facilities on the highest level by 2025.
Cotton is a very thirsty plant and a large problem for water consumption (since the water most likely will not return to its origin after irrigation of the cotton plants). Therefore, we are transitioning to organic cotton. Organic cotton is grown without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers and can reduce water scarcity risks by 91% and global warming potential by 48%*
*based on Higg MSI 3.0 data at msi.higg.org. Percentage reduction pertains to the raw material phase