World Water Day 2022 Special Feature: How Fashion Brands are Moving the Dial on Water Conservation
The fashion and textile supply chain has traditionally consumed a huge amount of fresh water—from thirsty cotton crops to water-intensive dyeing processes to frequent home laundering by consumers. Today, many of the world’s best brands are taking great strides to conserve and protect water resources. But they can’t do it alone.
Water scarcity poses a threat to communities and to companies. According to the UN, 2.3 billion people, almost 30% of the world’s population, live in water-stressed countries. Many of these are key textile-producing nations. Companies that operate in these nations face substantial water-related financial and strategic risks that could impact their ability to compete and threaten local jobs.
In response, leading international brands, including HUGO BOSS, Gap, Levi’s, H&M and Polo Ralph Lauren are now setting community-specific water usage and quality targets. Their textile mill partners, and the companies that supply and support them, have a major role to play.
As a leading supplier of dyes and textiles chemicals, Huntsman Textile Effects has long made water conservation and contamination protection a priority of its research and innovation efforts.
Huntsman has long advocated innovation and partnership to prevent unwanted substances from entering the supply chain in the first place. It collaborates with organizations like bluesign® and the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemical (ZDHC) Foundation and works directly with textile mills on chemical and effluent management. Crucially, it provides brands with compliant chemistries that bring both sustainability benefits and production improvements today and look ahead to anticipate future restrictions.
Huntsman’s approach to sustainability is grounded in the belief that small steps can lead to great strides that bring about extraordinary change when people work together. This is also a central tenet of the UN’s World Water Day. Held on March 22, its focus in 2022 is on protecting precious groundwater by encouraging everyone to use water more efficiently and remove harmful substances from the supply chain.