Kontoor Brands attributes its water saving achievement to its Indigood Program, a global initiative initially centred around foam-dyeing technology to reduce freshwater consumption in the dyeing process by 90% compared to conventional indigo dyeing methods.

Since its expansion of the programme in 2021 to incorporate additional water-saving technologies and measures, Kontoor Brands has collaborated with over 30 mills worldwide to rigorously assess and verify their freshwater conservation claims. The Indigood Program is designed to establish a consistent global standard for validating water savings, addressing a current disparity within the industry.

“It is no secret that our industry uses a lot of water,” explains Scott Baxter, president, chief executive officer, and chair of the board at Kontoor Brands.

He continues: “The fact that Kontoor reached our water savings goal two years early is a testament to our commitment to sustainability and to the effectiveness of the Indigood Program, which is providing an important industry standard.”

In April 2020, Wrangler announced it had surpassed its original 2020 goal by saving over seven billion litres of water in the product finishing phase of its denim products since 2008.

Aside from extending the Indigood Program in collaboration with partner mills across the globe, Kontoor has also implemented advanced water-saving technologies at its proprietary manufacturing facilities, responsible for producing over 50 million units of apparel and accessories annually.

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By GlobalData

The company’s Torreon, Mexico plant, for example, has received third-party verification for its use of zero fresh water in its laundry process, resulting in an estimated annual saving of 250 million litres of water.

In a region surrounded by desert, the Torreon facility not only limits its freshwater consumption but also contributes to the local community by providing fresh water to the municipal government through its on-site wells.

Kontoor Brands claims its water conservation initiatives are a component of its broader commitment to both its employees and the environment, which includes collaboration with vendors prioritising worker wellbeing, responsible material selection, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and waste.

Dhruv Agarwal, vice president of sustainability, innovation and development at Kontoor Brands says: “At Kontoor Brands, we are focused on advancing positive impacts by using resources wisely, driving sustainable innovations, and preserving and protecting the planet for future generations.

“Our approach is focused on a process of continuous improvement, and while we have met our water goal early, there is still much work to be done. We will continue to raise the bar on the environmental performance of our operations and partner mills across the globe, with a focus on doing the right thing for the communities where we operate.”

Kontoor Brands’ achievements in other sustainability goals will be featured in its upcoming 2021-2022 sustainability report.

In April, Kontoor Brands rolled out Global Design Standards, a programme that aimed to lower the environmental and social impacts of its Wrangler and Lee brands.