Esquel Group’s latest collaboration is aimed at helping the company achieve zero liquid discharge goals and foster better wastewater treatment in its supply chain.
The Hong Kong-based shirt manufacturer partnered with Gradiant Corporation, a sustainable solutions company, to incorporate Gradiant’s advanced water treatment solutions in its garment production process. The partnership yields potential benefits for both parties—Gradiant would be able to build up its presence in Asia’s textile market, while Esquel Group would have the resources necessary to elevate its environmental responsibility commitments.
“As a large vertically integrated textile and apparel manufacturer, we make efforts to minimize our ecological footprint every step of the way from cotton seed to shirt. Our goal is to institute innovative solutions to set new industrial benchmarks and preserve the environment where we operate,” said Yugao Zhang, head of research and development at Esquel. “Gradiant has proven themselves as a true innovator in wastewater treatment and as a partner who can help us with our vision of making a difference.”
Today, garment and textile manufacturing requires almost 150 liters of water to produce one kilo of textile material—equal to one day’s worth of attire for a consumer. Wastewater from the garment and textile production process carries chemicals and dyes that require advanced treatment for safe discharge into the environment or reuse. To combat the negative environmental impacts of industrial wastewater and achieve zero liquid discharge, progressive textile manufacturers, including Esquel Group, are turning to new desalination and evaporation technologies from providers, including Gradiant.
[Read more about sustainable wastewater treatment: China Finds New Way to Treat Textile Wastewater]
Gradiant’s patented humidification-dehumidification (HDH) system extracts harmful pollutants from industrial wastewater, so clean water can be recovered from manufacturing processes. This sustainable process mimics nature’s rain cycle, which according to Gradiant, reduces the cost of treatment by as much as 50 percent. In 2013, Gradiant piloted this process at a full-scale level—treating produced water from North American gas exploration and production.
As a leader in the industrial wastewater treatment space, Gradiant achieved numerous milestones in 2017 that has prepared its expansion efforts for this year. Following the formation of its Gradiant Energy Services, Gradient tapped into the growing $500 million wastewater desalination market in Asia. Gradiant inked contracts in many Asian nations, including China and India, for its HDH process that will enable the region’s companies, like Esquel Group, to transform complex waste streams from their manufacturing processes into clean, reusable water.
“At Gradiant, we help industrial water users minimize their cost of treatment and their impact on the environment,” said Anurag Bajpayee, Gradient’s chief executive officer. “We look forward to working with the Esquel Group to support their goals.”