Arvind and Gap Inc.’s innovation hub stands as a collaborative platform for apparel companies, manufacturing suppliers, vendors, sustainability experts, academics, and environmental stakeholders.

GWICA spans 18,000 sq. ft. and is constructed from sustainable materials.

The centre comprises key components aimed at transforming the water landscape in apparel manufacturing:

Sewage water treatment plant: The facility, initiated in 2019 at Arvind’s Naroda denim processing unit, showcases Membrane Bio Reactor (MBR) technology, eliminating reliance on fresh water in processing. This sustainable manufacturing practice addresses local water scarcity challenges, reducing business risk and ensuring the entire manufacturing process uses reclaimed water.

Global Water Innovation Centre for Action (GWICA): Positioned as a global hub for textile manufacturers and industry stakeholders, GWICA invites collaboration, showcases innovations, and aims to serve as a repository for best practices and technological advancements. The centre’s services include:

  • Repository of knowledge: GWICA acts as an open-source repository, housing both physical and digital knowledge products focused on water management in apparel manufacturing. It collaborates with external experts to curate materials, ensuring a continuous flow of expertise and insights.
  • Training initiatives: Education is central to GWICA’s mission, offering comprehensive training programmes for operator-level staff in textile factories. Annual water management training modules, available both in-person and online, to industry professionals with tools for sustainable water practices.
  • R&D lab and incubation: The lab is set to serve as a “launching pad” for piloting and incubating six innovative water solutions to revolutionise water management practices in the apparel sector.
  • Showcasing innovations: GWICA offers tours of Arvind’s installations, providing first-hand experiences of hi-tech solutions and creating platforms for innovators and start-ups to showcase water-saving advancements.
  • Collaborative spaces: A meeting ground for suppliers, brands, industry associations, and other stakeholders, GWICA claims to provide a collaborative space to drive collective action towards water sustainability.

GWICA will also display water stewardship activities that replenish water to nature, encouraging collective action to improve water resilience for ecosystems and communities touched by the apparel industry worldwide.

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The partnership is said to underscore a “collective commitment” to sustainability, collaboration, and actionable change within the apparel manufacturing industry.

Arvind’s sustainability strategy, “Fundamentally Right”, focuses on making all key inputs 100% sustainable, with water being a key milestone. Its major manufacturing facilities are now equipped with Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) systems, leading to a 93% reduction in wastewater discharge.

Speaking about the initiatives and the partnership, Mr. Punit Lalbhai, vice chairman and executive director of Arvind Ltd, emphasised the commitment to transformative change in the apparel manufacturing industry and said:

“From the launch of the pioneering GWICA centre to the success of our Sewage Water Treatment Plant, we are committed to a transformative path in the apparel manufacturing industry.”

Gap Inc., a longstanding partner for Arvind, also aims to become water-neutral in its manufacturing and owned and operated facilities by 2030, to empower 5 million people in the apparel industry to access clean water and sanitation.

Gap Inc. president & CEO Richard Dickson added that by combining expertise and resources, Arvind and Gap Inc. are “building a more water-resilient future” for the apparel industry and the communities where they operate.

In October, Arvind joined hands with the Circulose Supplier Network the brainchild of Swedish textile recycling company Renewcell, to drive eco-conscious products in India’s textile market.