The fashion sector uses as much water as would meet the needs of 5m people every year

The fashion sector uses as much water as would meet the needs of 5m people every year

A campaign has launched at this week's Kingpins Show in Amsterdam to raise awareness of the amount of water used in the denim production process – and encourage industry players and consumers to to donate a million litres of water to a good cause.

The 'One Million Liters' campaign is an initiative of Spanish textile manufacturer Tejidos Royo, whose DryIndigo process dyes with indigo but without water, and was developed in collaboration with Gaston Systems and Indigo Mill Designs (IMD). It has already saved more than 1 million litres of water used in denim dyeing, the company says.

The campaign's core mission is to show how changing one part of the clothing production or manufacturing process can speed up change towards a more sustainable textile industry.

Using the platform and the main social networks, the aim for 2020 is to raise awareness across Europe and the US, with users encouraged to share their suggestions on which cause would benefit the most from a million litres of water.

The recipient of the donation will be selected from the projects proposed before 30 November 2019. In December, the winning proposal will be revealed and, in February 2020, the million litres of water will be transported to their destination.

Tejidos Royo has already donated the economic contribution from the first million litres saved to UNICEF for its water and sanitation programmes, which improve the lives of thousands of children around the world.

Reports by UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) indicate that the fashion sector uses as much water that would meet the needs of 5m people every year. Likewise, producing a pair of jeans using the conventional system uses an amount of water equivalent to what one person could drink over seven years.

DryIndigo is one of the new technologies driving change in the sector. It uses 0% water in the dyeing process. It also reduces energy consumption by 65% during manufacture, uses 89% less chemical products, and completely eliminates waste water discharge.

"In the textile industry, we need to rework our processes to become a much more sustainable industry," explains José Rafael Royo, member of the company's board. "We are facing the sustainable denim revolution and, with One Million Liters, we want everyone to take part in it so that, together, we can meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals before 2030."