Theme: Sustainable Fashion
An increasing number of fashion brands and retailers are recognising the need to incorporate water management into their overall corporate responsibility strategies. However, it is not enough to just monitor water use in the immediate supply chain, writes GlobalData.
Beth Wright, Apparel Correspondent at GlobalData, says: “While efforts made by fashion companies worldwide to tackle water use and management in production countries are commendable, industry players must look past their own operations and truly move beyond the factory line to reach the broader community and drive wider change.”
One such example is Levi Strauss & Co’s new global water strategy that will see the jeans giant focus reduction efforts on the most water-stressed sourcing countries in its supply chain. As part of the core elements of the strategy, Levi Strauss will partner with suppliers in places where safe, clean drinking water is hard to find to promote greater access to water for surrounding communities.
It has also been working on a project with non-profit organisations World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Earth Genome, along with Arizona State University (ASU), to identify and diagnose sources of water stress in the Ravi River basin.
Elsewhere, Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger owner, PVH Corp, has recently set out a Forward Fashion corporate responsibility strategy to accelerate its sustainability efforts which includes plans to ensure access to clean water for communities in its key basins.
US apparel retailer Gap Inc has teamed up with Arvind Limited, its long-time sourcing and franchise partner in India, to open a new innovation centre highlighting solutions to reduce water use in the industry. Once completed, the hub will generate scalable solutions that can be replicated at mills and laundries elsewhere.
Wright adds: “The recent steps taken by apparel industry heavyweights show just how important water management is to the sector. As one of the world’s largest and most intensive users of water, the industry needs to continue to address the problem, particularly in its production countries where water is often truly scarce.
“Steps such as Levi Strauss’ move to work directly with its vendors and collaborating with stakeholders to take collective responsibility for water management are all ways to help manage the impact on the wider communities.”
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