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Water

Our love for water and snow motivates us to focus on conserving it in all that we do.

We will continue to FOCUS ON regeneration and conservation of water.

Since our foundation in 1877, we've enjoyed the sea and snow as our playground. More importantly, it's our home. Helly Hansen was born by the ocean and raised by the mountains.  It's our responsibility to treat the planet's water with dignity and respect.

We have a wide-ranging sustainability program and our focus is on water in all its forms. There are three primary ways in which we can link our actions to water: water pollution, water consumption, and GHG emissions. In order to measure our impact in these areas, we’ve partnered with SAC and are applying the HIGG FEM at the supplier level and HIGG MSI at the material level. 

WATER USE AND CONSUMPTION

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

 

WATER POLLUTION

Water pollution in the textile industry is primarily driven from the below factors:

Wastewater (polluted with chemicals). The textile industry is heavy users of chemicals and it’s estimated that 25% of all chemicals produced worldwide are related to the textile industry. The dyeing and wet processes are especially heavy on chemical use.

Water runoff from cotton irrigation that often contains pesticides and fertilizers

Microfiber/fiber fragmentation pollution.

 

OUR ACTIONS TO REDUCE WATER POLLUTION

 

The most important action we can take on water pollution from wastewater streams is ensuring as little as possible hazardous chemicals enter the process to start with. We have therefore been members of bluesign since 2008.

One of our key suppliers has recently built a circular water system in their factory in Vietnam. This water system can clean and circulate the water in the factory and doesn’t require new water input; just adding rainwater is enough. 

Via HIGG Facility and Environmental Module we can better map the level of filtration and wastewater management systems our partners are applying in the supply chain and target to improve where we have the largest impact. 

In order to reduce pollution from pesticides and fertilizers, we are transitioning to more and more organic cotton.

We are engaging in the industry network, The Microfiber Consortium where are members of the board. The TMC is primarily focusing on developing a standardized testing method for microfiber release and understanding how we can minimize release from various textiles.

We are also engaging in a local project lead by SINTEF in Norway where we are looking at the fate and effect of microfibers from textiles.

CLIMATE CHANGE

According to the United Nations, “water is the medium through which humans will experience most of the impacts of climate change.”

Climate Change is impacting water in many ways. Some of the consequences are warmer and more acidic oceans, putting marine life and marine ecosystems under threat. Melting ice, the decline of our poles and low snow years create unwanted feedback loops in our climate. They are also damaging ecosystems directly.

The textile/apparel industry is responsible for approximately 4-8% of the all global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Our largest impact comes from the construction of our products and the materials that go into them. We are now in the middle of calculating our environmental footprint for our whole corporation, including all products and materials.

 

OUR ACTIONS TO ADDRESS CLIMATE CHANGE

 

We are scaling the HIGG Facility and Environmental Module in our supply chain and have set a target to have 80% of the material suppliers on leadership level by 2025.

Introducing more recycled materials, where we have a lower GHG emission impact.

Solution Dyed textiles reduces carbon emissions since the dyeing process can be skipped.

Making long-lasting products!

Water is the medium through which humans will experience most of the impacts of climate change.

helly tech

Chemical Management

Applying the best availabe technology to reduce our negative impact.

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Collaborations

We can't do it alone.

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