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How Advance Denim Is Lowering Water Utilization

As the textile industry pushes for a more sustainable future, the challenge of producing goods without relying heavily on water consumption remains.

With a long-standing commitment to sustainability, Advance Denim believes one foundation of sustainable manufacturing is managing the use of water in the production process.

In addition, the denim mill feels that mitigating the use of freshwater—while creating a circular, closed-loop finishing system to reuse the water used in production—is a key element to creating a cleaner, more sustainable denim.

Step-by-step process

The first step for Advance Denim was to look at the production process as a whole and identify the potential opportunities to save water while still creating traditional vintage denim.

In the traditional dyeing process, it takes approximately eight to 13 boxes to dye indigo. To lower this, Advance Denim introduced Bigbox dyeing, which uses traditional indigo dyeing to save up to 74 percent of the water needed in the dye process.

Bigbox dyeing alone is a huge step forward in the company’s sustainability journey, but the denim mill did not stop there. To create a cleaner indigo, Advance Denim rolled out BioBlue indigo to its Vietnam and China facilities. BioBlue indigo is an indigo dye process that eliminates the need for sodium hydrosulfite—a toxic chemical that also creates an industrial effluent high in salts—in the process of indigo reduction.

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The next process Advance Denim focused on is its finishing range. To focus on both sustainability and circularity in finishing, Advance created a closed-loop finishing system where the wastewater from the finishing process will pass through an initial treatment of screening and sedimentation. The sewage from this primary treatment is then mixed with air and bacteria for biological cleaning. Ozonation will remove the remaining organic matter before going through the advanced treatment of ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis.  

The final innovative treatment further re-filters, removes remaining residual indigo or harmful impurities and converts the effluent into clean water. The clean water will then be recycled back into the finishing range, creating a closed loop system with the recycled water. The indigo dye that is filtered out will also be recycled.  

This focus on both using less water in the production process—creating a cleaner dye with less harmful pollutants and building a closed loop-system—is the foundation of Advance Denim’s commitment to addressing and creating solutions for the freshwater scarcity. In fact, these efforts have earned Advance an industry leading Higg Facility Environmental Module (HIGG FEM) score of 83.

Learn more about Advance Denim Limited here.