Wrangler has saved 3bn litres of water in its jeans manufacturing finishing process

Wrangler has saved 3bn litres of water in its jeans manufacturing finishing process

Having saved 3bn litres of water in the denim production process over the past decade, VF Corp-owned jeanswear brand Wrangler has now set a new goal to reduce usage at its facilities by 20% by 2020.

The denim and casualwear brand says the 3bn litres of water saved since 2007 equal the annual household water needs of around 21,000 Americans. The milestone has been achieved through merging the finishing steps and through investment in advanced wastewater treatment systems to improve effluent water quality, which allows treated water to cycle back through the system. 

The company's own Torreon facility in northern Mexico has achieved a 45% water-recycling rate through a combination of disc filtration and biological treatment processes, which Wrangler is hoping to push to 75% by 2018 through investment in additional technology. 

Water plays a significant role in the manufacturing of denim, and the finishing steps in producing a pair of jeans typically require multiple water baths.

"Our company has a responsibility to play a leading role in moving our industry toward sustainable practices," says Roian Atwood, director of sustainability for Wrangler. "Reducing billions of litres of water usage represents one small part of our efforts to minimise our environmental impact. Our responsible chemistry strategy also safeguards water quality while our sustainable fibre programme promotes responsible cotton growing practices concerning the use of water, pesticides and fertilisers." 

Wrangler began its water conservation efforts around a decade ago with its water miser programme, which involved applying detergent more strategically in the finishing process, reducing the water used in wash formulas by up to 28%. This technique was applied globally across internal manufacturing.