Portuguese textile manufacturer Tintex is partnering with non-profit organisation Drip by Drip to develop new textile solutions with the lowest possible water footprint.

Established in 1998, Drip by Drip is primarily engaged in industrial wastewater projects in countries that face challenges related to the global textile industry. Its global network shares knowledge about the connection between fashion consumption and water resources while developing water-saving fabric alternatives.

As part of its 'The Blue Lab' initiative, Drip by Drip and key partners including Tintex and Lenzing have developed five new fabrics that are "extremely water efficient." Production of these materials uses between 443 and 965 litres of water per kg, in comparison to the 7,000 to 29,000 litres required to produce 1kg of conventional cotton fabric.

"We are talking about water savings of up to 90%, achieved starting from the cultivation of raw materials as well as in the fabric dyeing process and of course through water recycling," Drip by Drip says.

This fabric collection has been developed using Tencel Lyocell, Modal, hemp, and Roica V550 spandex yarn, part of the Roica Eco-Smart family of premium stretch yarns from Japanese fibres business Asahi Kasei.

In addition, all of the fabrics are biodegradable and are not treated with any hazardous chemicals, pesticides or fertilizers. They can be purchased directly from the manufacturer with 10% of sales going to wastewater projects in Bangladesh.

Joining Tintex and Lenzing as key partners in the initiative are Tearfil, Blue Ben, Spanish textile agency Montebelo, and non-profit Agroho.

German brand Blue Ben is using the new water efficient fabrics by Tintex in its 'Blue Sweater' – a unisex crew-neck sweater, with branding dedicated to Bangladesh – with a percentage of sales being used to clean up wastewater plants in the country.