Too few fashion brands actively work to address water risks in their supply chain. Dedicated to enabling a world with clean water and sustainable textile and leather industries, the Swedish Textile Water Initiative (STWI) has a solution. Lindex, KappAhl and SIWI present their journey.
**This story first appeared on the SIWI Media Hub here.
Today, Lindex is publishing its tenth sustainability report. During the past year, 900 million liters of water was saved by Lindex suppliers through cleaner production projects in India and Bangladesh. Lindex also became a partner to WaterAid as an extension of their water related sustainability work.
“Lindex suppliers´ production operations throughout the supply chain are significantly dependent on access to water, and we will continue our collaborations and projects with suppliers and other stakeholders where we are implementing responsible water usage”, says Ingvar Larsson, CEO at Lindex. In 2014, 16.3 million garments were made by sustainable materials which accounts for 22 per cent of the total collections. By 2020 the goal is that at least 80 per cent of Lindex garments are made of more sustainable fibres and all cotton will come from sustainable sources. “We are working steadily ahead towards our sustainability targets and our aim is that all garments are produced using more sustainable processes with less energy, water and chemicals and producing less waste”, says Ingvar Larsson. With the aim to empower factory workers in their supply chain, Lindex has now reached 8,000 female factory workers with education about their personal health. In collaboration with QuizRR, Lindex are now developing a tool that will educate factory workers about their rights and responsibilities. 2014’s yearly collaboration with the Breast Cancer Foundation was a success. “Our design collaboration with Jean Paul Gaultier for the Breast Cancer Foundation was a success. Together with our customers, Lindex donated 1.4 MEUR to cancer research and for this we are of course both proud and grateful”, says Ingvar Larsson. During 2014 Lindex also started collecting textile for reuse and recycling in 50 selected stores in Sweden. This was done in cooperation with the app Cirqle and the organisation Myrorna, as a part of the aim to close the material loop. ** This post first appeared here.
Wed, Mar 25, 2015 08:20 CET
(Stockholm, 25 March 2015) – By participating in a unique project for cleaner production, Sustainable Water Resources (SWAR), suppliers to the Swedish retail brands Indiska, KappAhl and Lindex have reduced their environmental impact and improved capacity through training on resource efficiency.
For a garment production factory in Noida, India, the idea of coupling sustainable practices with significant financial savings was initially far-fetched. However, through SWAR they have succeeded. Now, the factory has reinvested these savings in new technology which ensures efficient use of natural resources.
“We are now all aware of how important it is to save water, energy and chemicals, which is helpful in cutting factory costs. Building capacity and educating at every level in the garment industry needs to be an ongoing process”, says Mr Ravinder Hand from garment manufacturer Radnik.
The SWAR project is a cooperation between the Swedish brands and their Indian suppliers, the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), Sida, and India-based consultancy cKinetics. SWAR was co-financed by the brands and Sida, in a public-private partnership that linked business and international development goals.
More than 40 factories participated in the project. The project has contributed to saving 284 million litres of water and 402 tonnes of chemicals annually. The factories were also able to save an average of three per cent of their energy cost and three per cent of their operational costs.
“Being able to save costs through resources use efficiency is important, but it is not sustainable without a mind-shift. This is best achieved through continuous training and capacity development”, says Rami Abdelrahman, Programme Manager at SIWI.
The project trained more than 13,000 factory workers and managers in the past two years.
The Indian textile industry contributes with three per cent to India’s GDP and employs more than 45 million people. The industry is one of the largest industrial water polluters in India, and is facing serious growth limitations due to increasing freshwater shortage.
The project expands
More than half of the participating factories will continue to work on their own, continuously communicating their development to their clients in Sweden. Others have joined a network created by SIWI and the three fashion brands for continuing the learning journey.
SWAR has inspired SIWI, Sida, the piloting brands and an additional 16 Swedish fashion brands to catalyse a shift toward sustainable production and continuous learning in major production hubs in Asia and Africa.
Starting in 2015, the project scales up to include several Indian states and four other countries in the world. It involves more than 120 suppliers globally and is a part of the project Sweden Textile Water Initiative, STWI.