Blog: Water use remains high on the agenda
Petah Marian | 21 March 2012
Today (22 March) is World Water Day, and reducing the amount of water used by the apparel industry and ensuring that it remains unpolluted remains high on the agenda.
In an attempt to convince consumers to use less water by washing their clothing less regularly, Levi Strauss has challenged its staff to stop washing their jeans this week.
The company's has called upon its employees around the world to wear the same pair of jeans from 19-23 March. Participating employees will receive a Go Water<Less non-removable tag made of sponge on the first day to put on their jeans, which will inflate if placed in water.
The company said that besides the environmental benefits of washing jeans less frequently, it is a "well known denim-enthusiast's secret" that airing the garment instead of washing will help create a bespoke fit over time, shaping the garment to better suit the wearer's frame.
Levi's said that by washing jeans once every two weeks, consumers can reduce the water used in a jean's life cycle by 23%.
Meanwhile, research from Greenpeace suggests there could be additional advantages to cutting back on the number of wash cycles. It has relseased research that suggests that hazardous chemicals in clothing from a number of major brands is being released into public waterways when they are washed by consumers.
The research measured the percentage of nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) which were washed out during simulated standard domestic laundering conditions for 14 clothing items.
The chemicals, used in textile manufacture, enter rivers, lakes and seas where they break down to form nonylphenol, which has hormone-disrupting properties and is harmful to human health.
Greenpeace said the brands, which include Abercrombie & Fitch, G-Star and Calvin Klein, are "unknowingly polluting the public water supplies in regions and countries around the world, including those where there are restrictions or bans on the use of these chemicals."
An online tool to help apparel brands, retailers and manufacturers work towards improved wages for garment workers in global supply chains has been updated in a move that marks another step towards th...
Apparel brands have been urged to stay committed to Cambodia after a 28% rise in the minimum monthly wage was agreed for textile, garment and footwear workers....
US firms including apparel retailers and importers are urging the government to intervene in the ongoing dispute at US west coast ports, amid worsening delays on shipments of holiday merchandise and f...
A number of retailers were last week forced to respond to allegations of "forced labour" among female textile workers in mills in southern India, with H&M blacklisting one of the five named....
- Slow fashion: a fast-growing opportunity?
- Rethink needed as low-cost labour options dwindle
- China's apparel sector ponders sustainability
- US textile and apparel trade and sourcing snapshot
- US footwear trade and sourcing snapshot
- Tazreen Fashions compensation agreement outlined
- Puma commits to 100% PFC removal
- US trade snapshot shows apparel and footwear shift
- Long-term partnerships key to Adidas sourcing mode
- Bangladesh Alliance unveils fire safety initiative