Though the denim industry has made great progress in reducing water waste overall, it still has a long way to go. In order to effect real change, Wrangler is teaming with changemakers in the industry and setting more aggressive sustainability goals after having met its 2020 water conservation goal early.
On Thursday, the heritage denim brand announced a new ambitious goal to cut its water usage in half by 2030 by focusing on the fiber production, fabric construction and product-finishing phases of the denim supply chain.
These three areas of manufacturing, the company stated, encompass more than 95 percent of the total water used throughout the production of a pair of jeans.
The accelerated goals come after Wrangler surpassed its original plans to save 7 billion liters of water in the product-finishing phase from 2008-2020 in April. It accomplished this by being the first brand to utilize foam-dyeing methods, as well as water-saving cotton production processes—two initiatives it will continue in the coming years.
“We’re learning from our past successes in water conservation and expanding the scope of our efforts to be more inclusive of some of the biggest water impacts in our supply chain,” said Tom Waldron, Wrangler executive vice president and global brand president. “Our new water goal is ambitious and necessary. New technologies and practices will empower Wrangler to make progress and advance the industry forward in water conservation measures.”
In addition to its new goals, Wrangler is collaborating with the Transformers Foundation on a comprehensive water balance study that looks at the denim industry’s water consumption by production phase. The goal of the partnership is to establish reliable benchmarks for all to use.
According to Roian Atwood, Wrangler’s senior director, global sustainable business, reducing water waste requires the cooperation of the entire industry. Wrangler will use the water intensity baseline generated from the study to calculate the water savings made from new technological innovations in the pursuit of the new water goal.
“A renewed sustainability target creates an organizational focus that enables Wrangler to create meaningful change through the conservation of water resources,” Atwood said. “Because water is a shared resource, its conservation is also a shared responsibility. Working with the Transformers Foundation will help accelerate sustainability collaboration in our industry.”